The 2005 d'Alceo is pliant and expressive. The explosiveness and inner sweetness of the very best years is missing, but this site still has plenty to say. Sweet tobacco, herbs, mint and licorice are some of the notes that open up in a beautifully perfumed d'Alceo to drink now and over the next decade. The 2005 growing season was particularly complicated at Rampolla because of cold weather and large amounts of rain. The estate only used fruit from the oldest vines in the upper terrace, which, among other things, means the 2005 is almost exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon, with very little Petit Verdot taken just from the south-facing parcels that ripened properly. Production was down a whopping 80% to just 1,200 bottles, most of which was sold in Italy and Switzerland, give or take.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025
Robert Parker 89-92
Rampolla’s 2005 D’Alceo was awaiting imminent bottling when I tasted it. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, it offers up sweet herbs, red fruits and spices with modest structure and complexity relative to the estate’s finest wines. The wine may come together even more in bottle, but this is likely to remain a very modest D’Alceo. To be released in 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020. Sadly there are only 1,600 bottles of this wine, none of which are earmarked for the US market. I can’t think of too many places where 2005 was more challenging than Castello dei Rampolla. Losses were so severe that the estate didn’t even bother to harvest a portion of their vineyards. Production is significantly down from normal levels. Rampolla did make their top selections, but production of the D’Alceo is so reduced that the wine won’t be shipped to the US. These are commendable efforts for the vintage but they show the inevitable effects of the growing season. Importer: Vias Imports, New York, NY; tel. (212) 629-0200
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020