The monumental 1999 Vigna d'Alceo is a 20,000-bottle cuvee of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Sangiovese aged in oak. It boasts an exceptionally provocative nose of liquid minerals, graphite, plums, creme de cassis, and cherry liqueur. It is fabulously concentrated yet remarkably light on its feet, with medium to full body, sweet tannin, and layer upon layer of flavor nuances. There is plenty of glycerin in this rich, but neither heavy nor overbearing effort. This is a thrilling tour de force! However, it requires cellaring. (RP)
A towering, majestic wine, the 1999 Vigna d'Alceo bursts from the glass with an exotic mélange of dark red/black fruits, iron, incense and scorched earth. Firm tannins support a huge, explosive finish laced with the essence of sweet black cherries, plums, smoke and licorice. Still quite young and virile, the 1999 needs at least a few more years in the cellar. If opened today the 1999 will benefit from advance aeration. Readers who own the 1999 should be thrilled, as it is fabulous. It's as simple as that. (AG) 97+
Saturated full garnet. Powerful but focused aromas of blackberry, licorice, mint, sweet oak and India ink that are framed by a seamless structure and plump tannins. This extraordinary wine displays great persistence and depth, and the long aftertaste conveys a rich sense of minerality. There can be no more striking example of the difference between the '98 and '99 vintages: as good as the '98 Sammarco is, and it is very good indeed, it doesn't match the sheer granite-like intensity of the '99 Vigna d'Alceo in spite of the fact that the grapes originate mostly from the same vineyards. (EB)
Wow. Dark ruby, with intense aromas of blackberries, cherries and tar. Full-bodied, with wonderfully well-integrated tannins and a long, smoky licorice and berry aftertaste. Sensational. (JS)
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