For more than two decades one of the greatest Tuscan proprietary red wines has been Castello dei Rampolla's Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese blend called Sammarco. What has always made this wine exceptional, especially in the top vintages, is its complexity and elegance. It is closer to a great Graves than any other wine I have ever tasted outside of France. The 1998 Sammarco, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Sangiovese, reveals structure and tannin. Additionally, it possesses formidable underlying concentration and depth, along with that multi-layered mid-palate that always seems to separate exceptional wines from good ones. The 1998 Sammarco's deep, saturated ruby color is followed by a complex bouquet of charcoal, roasted herbs, smoke, hot gravel, black currants, and cherries. It is medium-bodied and deep, with high but sweet tannin, and extraordinary purity as well as delineation. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2016.
The 1998 Sammarco is a real treat to taste today. Although not the biggest nor most explosive Sammarco, the 1998 makes its case with superb balance. The tannins have begun to soften, making the 1998 a good choice for drinking now and over the next 10-15 years. Sweet red plum, tobacco and exotic spices add the final shades of nuance. There aren't too many more complete or expressive Sammarcos for present drinking than the 1998. Oct. 2015
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