The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Tenuta San Guido and Castello dei Rampolla

Posted on | September 16, 2015 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoThe other day a friend and client who is appreciating and learning more about Italian wines asked me if I would taste a couple of Super Tuscans with her wine-tasting group. Loving to tell the story behind wines, I was excited to set something up. We chose two Bordeaux-blend Super Tuscans to showcase the Bordeaux style, both made with primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and no Sangiovese in them at all.

The first wine we tasted was the 2012 Guidalberto from Tenuta San Guido, the legendary estate that makes Sassicaia. Guidalberto is a blend of 60 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 40 % Merlot; the grapes for this bottling are harvested and fermented separately in temperature controlled steel tanks then aged for 15 months in mostly French oak with a small percentage of American Oak barrels, followed by three months in bottle. Our second wine was Castello dei Rampolla 2001 Vigna d’Alceo. Estate owner Alceo di Napoli’s first Super Tuscan was Rampolla; he planted his first Cabernet Sauvignon vines about 30 years ago. After his death, his children created the cru Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot blend Vigna d’Alceo to honor him. These wines are big and powerful and live up to the nickname of “Super” with that Tuscan terrior.

Tenuta San Guido 2012 Guidalberto $49.99

This wine is very accessible when young and drinks like a champ. It’s ruby red in the glass with aromas of bright red berries followed by cedar, spices and minerals; with some air, you get Tuscan earth and a slight tobacco scent. The palate is very elegant with silky, chewy tannins that mingle with juicy acidity and a nice lingering finish. Drink 2015-2018.

Castello dei Rampolla 2001 Vigna d’Alceo $249.00

A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, this wine has a deep, dense ruby color with aromas of ripe berries; herb notes of sage and rosemary blend with hints of cedar and earth, slight leather, licorice and black currant. The palate is full and inviting, and intense but elegant, silky tannins mingle with dark fruit. Lots of layers and a finish that lasts for more than a minute make this ’01 Vigna d’Alceo exceptional. Drink 2016-2027.

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