Late last year we were very lucky to locate a cache of back vintages at great pricing that we were able to offer to you. Sammarco is wine born in the early ‘80s; Castello dei Rampolla’s Alceo di Napoli had been a huge fan of the Super-Tuscan blend Sassicaia for years and decided he wanted to make his own bottling, but he would include the Sangiovese grape. It might be helpful to think of Sammarco as the lesser-heralded cousin of Tignanello—except in a recent tasting, the ’88 Sammarco outshone the Antinori superstar. That said, wine should not always be considered a competition, unless it is for your heart. A competition I feel this wine will win handily once you give it a taste. I’ve picked a pair to help convince you.
At its release, the 2006 vintage in Tuscany received a lot of praise, and a few years on we can see how truly correct that praise was. A hot June and July, damp August and warm September provided grapes that reached ripeness slightly earlier than usual, but contained excellent balance nonetheless. This explosive, silky pure wine will drink now and for the next 10-15 years.
1988 was an excellent year in Tuscany. A heat wave started in early summer and continued almost all the way up until harvest. This benefited international grapes such as Cab Sauv (part of Sammarco), aiding in their optimal ripeness and providing wines of great depth and concentration. The ‘88s have shown grace over time and this bottle is drinking now and for the next 5-7 years.