The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

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Expert Picks: Castello dei Rampolla and Querciabella

Posted on | July 8, 2015 | Written by Garrett Kowalsky | No Comments

Garrett_8.6.14_72dpiA lot of wine passes through IWM’s cellar here in Manhattan. I constantly marvel at the treasures that lurk beneath our operations, but I am always equally thrilled with the impending arrival of more treasured bottles of vino. I got excited when I spotted an upcoming delivery of two of my favorite (and arguably underappreciated) Super-Tuscan wines. I’ve enjoyed both the ’09 Sammarco and the ’10 Camartina in the past and was completely blown away by them. Here they are for you, available again and delicious now—and for the next decade.

Castello dei Rampolla 2009 Sammarco $79.99

Castello dei Rampolla is located in the Chianti region of Tuscany and dates back to the 1300’s. However, the Super-Tuscan did not debut until 1980 when Alceo Napoli dreamed up a blend of his own as an homage to the great Sassicaia (a personal favorite of his). His twist however was making sure the Sangiovese, the quintessential Italian grape, was in the mix. 2009 was a splendid and warm vintage in Chianti that produced approachable and fruit-forward wines. Do not be fooled, however: this ’09 may drink well now but it has the stuffing to go another 15-20 years if you let it.

Querciabella 2010 Camartina $129.99

Querciabella is another elite estate from Chianti, however the root of this property date back to just the 1970’s. Almost falling in line with Sammarco, the Camartina debuted in 1981 but where it differs is in the blend. Its rich texture comes from being predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, but Camartina uses a higher percentage of—about 30 percent to Sammarco’s 5 percent. Also of note to wine lovers, the estate has been organic since 1988 and biodynamic since 2000, one of the first in the region to receive their certification, although Castello dei Rampolla has also gone completely biodynamic. Dark fruit and spice abound in this wine, which makes me dream of enjoying it alongside a NY strip steak. With decanting, drink now or cellar to  2030.

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