Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama

For all our readers we will now be bringing you two regular weekly full profiles from the 11 & and upcoming 12th editions of Wine behind the label with our ratings. This should give you an excellent idea of what you can enjoy when purchasing a full guide. Here Neville Blech profiles Castello di Ama  from Tuscany.

Castello di Ama (Chianti Classico)

During the explosion of Super-Tuscans in the 1980s, Castello di Ama instead chose to emphasise Chianti Classico, producing three single-vineyard versions that were the equal of the best of the terroir. Winemaker Marco Pallanti has been involved with Ama for over 35 years and is married to owner Lorenza Sebasti. He still makes two single vineyard versions but now only in small quantities and only in the best years. Both Bellavista (which includes a percentage of Malvasia Nera) and La Casuccia (Merlot complements the Sangiovese) combine intensity with nuance and elegance but the latter is the richer of the two. Ama’s original Chianti Classico was a Riserva, but since 2010 this has no longer been produced. In fact, since 2010 Castello di Ama has split the production into Ama Chianti Classico from their youngest vineyards and Castello di Ama Chianti Classico San Lorenzo Gran Selezione from their oldest and best vineyards.

Vigneto La Casuccia

Given the vineyards’ elevation (450–480m), more difficult vintages can be a little lean but the wines gain richness with age, improving for at least five years. With continuous replanting, the new Chianti Classico, Ama, is now made (since 2010) from the youngest vineyards in the Classico DOCG and has been created together with the new denomination of Gran Selezione to emphasize the origin and the integrity of the fruit. Tuscany’s first great Merlot, L’Apparita, was produced here and it continues to be one of the very best. Relatively high fermentation temperatures and a long maceration precede ageing in 100% French barriques of thin grain, 20% of which are new. This now sizeable (75ha) estate also provides an attractive, well-balanced Chardonnay, Al Poggio, capable of a little age, and some Pinot Nero, Il Chiuso, which, since 2009 has been blended with young vine Sangiovese in varying proportions to reflect the character of the Ama terroir. Also in 2009, the first vintage of Haiku, a blend of 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot was produced as a vin de garde. A tangy rosato made from 100% Sangiovese and a Vin Santo completes the range, or you may prefer Ama’s very distinctive extra virgin olive oil with a lovely creamy complexity. (NB)

The wines

Recommended Reds:
Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia ★★★★★ £G
Chianti Classico Vigneto Bellavista ★★★★ £G
Chianti Classico San Lorenzo Gran Selezione ★★★ £E
Chianti Classico Castello di Ama ★★✩ £D
L’Apparita ★★★★✩ £G
Haiku Toscana IGT ★★★ £E
Il Chuiso Toscana IGT ★★ £C

Recommended Whites:
Al Poggio ★★ £C

Recommended Rosés:
Rosato ★✩ £B

Ownership and Contact

Lorenza Sebasti

Fraz. Lecchi in Chianti, Loc. Ama, 53010 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)

Tel: 0577 746031    Fax: 0577 746849



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