Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama Riserva – 2009


Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama was founded in 1976, and is located in Gaiole in Chianti, within the additional geographical unit of the same name (UGA), located in the heart of Tuscany. It is located about 12 miles northeast of Siena in the hills of Gaiole. This is the heart of Chianti Classico, a bucolic rolling landscape of woods, vineyards and olive groves.

The estate is currently helmed by CEO Lorenza Sebasti, a member of the second generation of one of the four founding families. Marco Pallanti, who was once the President of the Chianti Classico Consorzio, has been the winemaker and technical director at Castello di Ama since 1982.

The goal of the estate is to have each bottle of Castello di Ama express the uniqueness of the terroir, and be an authentic expression of the vintage. Ama has practiced sustainable viticulture since the end of the 1990s, and recently received Equalitas (Italy) certification.

Grapes / Soils

Sangiovese (80%), Malvasia Mera, Merlot Planted 1974, 1978, 1996 Clay with abundant pebble-gravel 35.42 ha

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • The 161 acre specialised vineyard, enrolled in the official Chianti Classico DOCG Registry, lies at elevations ranging between 1270 and 1750 feet, planted in quite rocky limestone-clay soils.
  • The vineyards planted in part between 1974 and 1978 have a density of 1200 vines per acre, while those that were planted from 1996 on to replace outdated vines-a process that continues today-display a density of  2150 vines/acre.
  • The vines, all vertically-trellised, are trained to the open lyre system and pruned to Guyot and spurred cordon.
  • The varieties, grafted onto 420A rootstock, are 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Nera, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Harvest Notes
  • Between 29 Sept and 12 Oct, following an initial quality selection in the vineyard, the clusters were hand-picked into small 12-kg boxes and brought into the cellar, for a total of some 2,000 quintals.
  • The clusters were quality-graded again on sorting tables, then de-stemmed and pressed.
  • The must, kept separate for each grape variety, fermented in steel at about 86-91ºF, with repeated daily punch-downs.
  • A 21-23 day maceration followed.
  • After racking, the 1,400 Hl of wine completed its malolactic fermentation.
  • Towards mid-December, the lots of wine were assembled into the final blend and put into oak barrels, 20% new and the remainder previously used, where it rested for 12 months.
  • On bottling, the production amounted to: 22,900 Bordeaux half-bottles; 165,365 standard-size Bordeaux bottles; 3,000 magnums; 300 double magnums.
Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Nera, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc; alcohol: 13.3%; specialized vineyards at 1270-1750 feet; rocky, limestone-clay soil; hand harvested and vinified separately at 86-91ºF with daily punchdowns for 23 days; aged in 20% new oak barrels for 12 months.

Technical Information
  • Total acidity: 5.60
  • pH: 3.50
  • Alcohol: 13.30


90 Points

Presents an enticing aroma, with lush cherry, plum, underbrush and chocolate notes carrying through on the palate. Complex, this will need time for the firm tannins to be resolved. Fine length. Drink now through 2022.

Wine Spectator, August, 2013

93 Points

Here’s an elegant wine made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia and Merlot. It opens with an alluring floral fragrance that recalls violet, rose and wild cherries. The bright palate is all about finesse, offering a core of mouthwatering black cherry spiced up with white and black pepper alongside silky but firm tannins that carry through to the finish. Editors’ Choice. —K.O

Wine Enthusiast, April, 2014

92 Points

The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Castello di Ama is striking. Dark red cherries, flowers, mint, licorice and spices caress the palate in this fleshy. The radiance of the fruit is suggestive of a warm year, but the tannic profile, medium body and overall structure is more similar to that of a colder vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.

© Wine Advocate, June, 2012

92 Points

The gorgeous 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva presents a classic aromatic profile that is deeply rooted in Tuscan territory. Autumn leave, wet earth, wild mushroom and blue flower speak so eloquently through the bouquet. Polished tannins add a silky and pristine quality to the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2025.

© Wine Advocate, August, 2013

91+ Points

Dark red berries, underbrush, tobacco, dried flowers all take shape in the 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva. Deep, rich and fleshy, the 2009 captures the sense of this radiant, expressive vintage. In 2009, Ama did not produce their top two selections, all of the best fruit went into this bottling.

Antonio Galloni -, August, 2013

General Info

Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Appellation(s) Chianti Classico
Proprietor/CEO Lorenza Sebasti
Founded 1974
Winemaker Marco Pallanti
Annual Production 25,000 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Sustainable certified by Equalitas Italy