Vinous: the 2015 ratings
Antonio Galloni - On the Tuscan Coast: New Releases
Ampeleia's new releases are intriguing. The three 2014s - the Alicante, Cabernet Franc and Unlitro - all show the challenges of the growing season. The wines spend six months in cement and are bottled early, which means there is a certain frankness and transparency that is impossible to miss. In the challenging 2014 harvest, the wines are on the lighter side and also slightly vegetal. I find more appeal in the Kepos and especially the flagship Ampeleia, which is terrific in 2012.
ALICANTE - 88: The 2014 Alicante is quite savory and lifted in style. Crushed flowers, delicate fruit and herbs are all laced together in a light to medium-bodied red that is already expressive. Like all of the 2014s, the Alicante Nero has a distinctly stemmy/vegetal personality, but all the elements are nicely balanced just the same.
CABERNET FRANC - 87: Ampeleia's 2014 Cabernet Franc is a bit wild and rough around the edges. The various components - aromatics, fruit, acidity - are disjointed at this stage. It will be interesting to see if further time in bottle helps things come together more fully, although I don't see that happening to a significant degree.
UNLITRO - 88: The 2014 Unlitro, Ampeleia's Rhône blend, is the most satisfying of the estate's 2014s. High-toned floral notes meld into sweet red berries, mint, rose petals and savory herbs are some of the signatures.
KEPOS - 90: The 2013 Kepos is nuanced and silky on the palate, with a delicate expression of fruit and lovely overall balance. Crushed raspberries, rose petals and sweet floral notes are laced throughout. I would prefer to drink the 2013 sooner rather than later.
AMPELEIA - 94: The 2012 Ampeleia is shaping up to be fabulous. Deep, layered and incredibly vivid, the 2012 presents an intriguing mélange of sweet plum, black cherry, spice and new leather. The Ampeleia is the most overt of the wines, but it also happens to be the most complete. Today, the flavors are naturally quite primary, but all the 2012 needs is further time in bottle. Ampeleia is mostly Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese, with a healthy dollop of other red grapes.