I want to draw your attention to one of the great wines of Italy, considered to be at the same level of recognition and collectability as Masseto and Messorio, Sassicaia and Solaia. The wine is D’Alceo, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petite Verdot, from Castello dei Rampolla.
Castello dei Rampolla, owned by the Di Napoli family since 1739, is managed today by the brother and sister team Maurizia and Luca. They have farmed the entire estate biodynamically since 1994. The vines for D’Alceo were planted in 1993 and are bush trained, with very low yields.
Luca says that with this D’Alceo he attempts “powerful balance”, and that pretty succinctly sums it up. The 2009 is drop-dead gorgeous, with remarkable purity of fruit and a mouthfeel that has to be experienced to be believed.
There is a lovely floral/violet note surrounding the black cherry and plum fruit, with accents of mint, licorice and Italian herbs. As I said, it is on the palate where the wine really sings, and the finish seems to last forever.
We were able to source a special allocation of the 2009 vintage to offer at an attractive and competitive price, exclusively for DouxVin subscribers. With ten years of age the wine is showing all of the depth and breadth you would expect and is just entering its window of drinkability.
-Peter Neptune, Master Sommelier
Pricing $495/3-Pack - tax and delivery included
This is a wine that can be consumed now and for the next 20 years. It would be a welcome, and in my opinion, necessary, addition to any serious wine cellar.
This wine is a revelation. I tasted it last week at a Tuscan wine dinner that I presented, and, while I have had past vintages of the wine, this was the first time that I tasted the 2017. I first visited the estate around 12 years ago. Owned for centuries by the Venerosi Pesciolini family, Tenuta Ghizzano is a beautiful 350 hectare property near the coast of Tuscany devoted to farming cereals, olives, and grapevines. The entire estate is certified Organic and the grapes are grown Biodynamically. The 2017 Bianco is a blend of Vermentino, Trebbiano, and Malvasia. The Trebbiano and Malvasia saw a brief maceration on the skins, drawing out a lovely golden color. The nose is super expressive of almond blossom, golden apple, pear, and dried herbs. It is on the palate that this wine really shines. The mouthfeel is simply gorgeous, with a full, generous texture that envelops the palate. It is both refined and expressive, with tree fruit flavors framed by dried honey and almond. This is a stunning white wine of purity and depth that belies its price point. Buy by the case at this price!
-Peter Neptune, Master Sommelier
My pick this week is a wonderful Pinot Noir from the Brittan Vineyard, located in the McMinnville AVA of the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The Brittan vineyard is comprised of roughly 28 acres of hillside vineyard on fractured basalt soils. The Gestalt block is a tiny section of southwest-facing vines that bear the brunt of the wind that comes in from the Van Duzer Corridor, resulting in small, concentrated berries, and a yield of only 1 ton per acre. I tasted this wine for the first time last week and it was a revelation. A medium ruby in color, the wine has expressive aromas of black raspberry and plum, with truffle, dried sage and anise. It is on the palate that this Pinot Noir really expresses itself, with deep fruit and a distinct volcanic minerality, enveloped by a gorgeous, velvet mouthfeel and very fine-grained tannins. This is at once intellectual and sensual. A truly outstanding wine that is drinking perfectly now and will cellar for up to 10 years. Only 370 cases produced. Congratulations to winemaker Robert Brittan for this great effort.
DouxVin Wine Strategies presented a Best of Italy Wine Dinner at Old Vine Kitchen and Bar last Tuesday (March 12), and the sold out event was a huge success. I presented and spoke about 10 wines spanning the length of the Italian peninsula, with accompanying cuisine by Chef Mark McDonald.
The highlights included a beautiful seafood salad with the best octopus I have had outside of Italy, with a flight of white wines that ranged from Monchiero Carbone Arneis to the great Terlano Pinot Bianco Vorberg, always a favorite of mine. The next dish was a deceptively simple Tuscan bean preparation, that, accompanied by a La Pederzana Lambrusco Puntamora 2007, might have been the hit of the evening. For good measure we also poured the 2013 Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino which provided a full-bodied counterpoint to the dish.
Braised short rib in Barolo wine was next up, with a flight of red wines that included an outstanding 2011 Mastroberardino Taurasi Reserva, the always crowd-pleasing 2014 Orma Toscana, and of course a Barolo, the 2014 Ceretto. That Mastroberardino just might have won the round.
A cheese plate including teleggio and pecorino romano was accompanied by the 2012 Secondo Marco Recioto della Valpolicella, a beautifully sweet wine with incredible depth and length. A great way to end an epic evening of Italian food and wine.
Thanks to Chef Mark McDonald, co-owner Kate Perry, and their amazing staff for helping to make this a wonderful evening.
We are looking forward to another great dinner at Old Vine Kitchen and Bar on April 9th, where I will present 10 wines that I call “The New California.” (Reserve your place)
DouxVin welcomes you to a new standard in a Wine Club, personally curated by Master Sommelier Peter Neptune. Once a quarter, experience a unique wine adventure through a six bottle selection of wines from around the world. Our philosophy is reflected in each club; from Enjoy or Explore to Indulge – We feature diligently sourced, small production, interesting and special wines, mostly from family-owned wineries, their artisanship and passion reflected in each bottle. Regardless of which level you choose, each club is designed to ensure value and includes sales tax and shipping/delivery.
$150 quarterly. Partnering with a prominent chef who provides us with a favorite recipe, Peter curates six different wines to pair perfectly with that dish. These selections are wonderful, accessible wines for everyday drinking that over deliver for the price.
$500 quarterly. Based upon a theme, be it varietal, region or wine style, Peter curates six wines to take you on a global journey of discovery. This club includes boutique wineries and low production wines drawn from Peter’s extensive travels and experiences, wines that you will be proud to serve with that special dinner, whether for two or ten!
$1000 and up quarterly. Peter will personally connect with you to customize the perfect selection of world class, distinctive and interesting wines. Indulge your passion for the best wines from around the world, from exceptional examples to drink today, or collectables to age in your cellar.