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Drink | WINE OF THE WEEK

1997 Castello dei Rampolla Chianti Classico, Tuscany

March 29, 2000|S. IRENE VIRBILA

Italian wine lovers can't get enough of the extremely ripe, forward Chianti Classicos of the splendid 1997 vintage. Here's a wonderful example from a family-run estate in Panzano, Tuscany. It tastes of dried cherries and plums, and it's delicious drinking now, though it has the body and structure to age. Don't drink it too fast: Let it linger in the glass a little, and it will open up like a genie coming out of a bottle.

Look for this Chianti on restaurant wine lists too. And keep an eye out for Castello dei Rampolla's Sammarco, a Cabernet Sauvignon blended with a small amount of Sangiovese, and its brilliant La Vigna di Alceo, a blend of Cabernet and Petit Verdot. Unfortunately, both are hard to find.

About $17. Available at fine wine stores.

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