Castello di Ama

AMA Chianti Classico – 2018

Region: ITALY - TUSCANY

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

96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot Planted circa 2005  Clay and calcareous

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Soil: Clay and calcareous
  • Altitude: 1500 – 1720 feet
  • Exposure: North-West/South-East
  • Planting Density: 5200 vines/Ha
  • Training System: Vertical trellis with single Guyot
  • Clonal selections: Sangiovese CC2000, CC2004, AGRI45, Merlot 343 Rootstock 420
  • Average Vine Age: 10 – 12 years
Harvest Notes
  • Great temperature differences between day and night in autumn allowed good aroma development
  • 2018 wines are fruity with excellent freshness and good balance of alcohol
  • Extraordinary polyphenols provide thoroughbred wines, elegant, powerful with good body
  • Hand harvested after extensive sampling that began on August 29 and completed October 15
  • Fermentation with ambient yeasts only, separately for each variety, at controlled temperature between 86-89ºF
  • Manual pumpovers during total cuvaison of 25 days for Sangiovese and 25 days for Merlot
  • After first racking, wine transferred to stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation
  • Blending after malolactic fermentation
  • Wine aged in second-passage oak barriques of thin grain
  • Bottled in January 2020
Winemaker's Notes

Ruby red color with vermillion nuances. Fruity, fresh red fruits, with cherry and raspberry notes on the nose. The taste is elegant and harmonic with well-balanced spicy notes already at the first impact

 

Wine Summary

96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot; alcohol: 13%; soils clay-calcareous; altitude: 1500 – 1720 feet; high density planting: 520 vines/Ha; fermented separately in stainless steel; ambient wild yeasts only; malolactic fermentation in stainless steel; aged in second passage oak barriques; bottled in January 2020.

Technical Information
  • 96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot grapes
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Total Acidity: 5.9 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: <1 g/l
  • Extract: 30.9 m/l

Reviews

93 Points

Fragrant and refined, this features enticing aromas of rose, iris, woodland berry and crushed botanical herb. Medium bodied and loaded with finesse, the elegant palate features juicy Marasca cherry, strawberry compote and dark culinary spice. Polished tannins and fresh acidity keep it well balanced. Drink through 2028.

Wine Enthusiast, November, 2020

92+ Points

This is the quintessential happy wine from Tuscany that will easily pair with wintery pici al ragù or summery pasta al pomorodo. There is enormous versatility in the all-season Castello di Ama 2018 Chianti Classico Ama. The wine is round, plump and approachable. It offers enormous freshness and the bright berry intensity of the Sangiovese grape. Red cherry and cassis are backed by red rose petal and softly fragrant potting soil. I tasted this wine immediately after Castello di Ama’s Pinot Nero di Toscana Il Chiuso, and I was struck by the similarities of the two wines in terms of silkiness and those pretty rose aromas.
2020 – 2026

© Wine Advocate, May, 2020

17.5 Points

Gaiole in Chianti. 96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot. Mid to deep crimson. Are there international interlopers here? Serious nose of cherry and strawberry fruit with a pinch of spicy oak. Elegant, tangy fruit that is concentrated at the same time and with finely grained, long tannins. A pretty whole, although it beats me what 4% of Merlot contributes (I found out the varietal make up after I had written the note.) 2020 – 2028

JancisRobinson.com, February, 2020

92 Points

A tight, juicy red with lots of cherries and hints of orange peel and stone. Medium to full body and light, polished tannins. Fresh finish. Drink or hold.

jamessuckling.com, July, 2020

92 Points

The 2018 Chianti Classico Ama shows just how promising the vintage is. A burst of sweet red cherry fruit, cedar, leather, spice and orange peel give the 2018 a feeling of exuberance that is impossible to miss. The purity of the flavors is just striking. This is such a beautiful wine. 2020 – 2030

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, September, 2020

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