Castello di Ama

AMA Chianti Classico – 2020

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.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Soils: Clay and calcareous
  • Altitude: 1500 – 1720 feet
  • Exposure: North-West/South-East
  • Planting Density: 5200 vines/Ha
  • Vine Training Systems: Vertical trellis with single Guyot
  • Clonal selections: Sangiovese CC2000, CC2004, AGRI45, Merlot 343 Rootstock 420
  • Average Vine Age: 10 – 12 years
Harvest Notes
  • 1st quarter 2020 had almost no snow, with clear, sunny days – a year without winter
  • Sudden late March temperature drop to 32ºF,  slwoing down vegetative recovery
  • Soils water content and prolonged warm, bright days June – August anticipated vegetation and maturation
  • 1st rain at end August, and warm September sun with cool nights ideal for aromatic development and ripening
  • Merlot harvest began end August, finished by 9/21/2020
  • Sangiovese harvest began 9/22, finished 10/8/2020, with drop in day and night temperatures through the period
  • Grapes vinified separately using ambient yeasts and with manual pumpovers
  • Sangiovese and Merlot each fermented 25 days at 86 – 89ºF
  • Wines racked, then transfered to stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation
  • Wine blended and aged in thin-grain, second-passage oak barriques
  • Bottled January 2022
Winemaker's Notes

Ama, produced almost entirely from Sangiovese grapes, was added to the estate’s wines with the 2010 vintage and the introduction of Gran Selezione quality criterion in Chianti Classico. Brilliant ruby red, with violet, redcurrant, cherries and strawberry aromas. Fruity, fragrant and well balanced. Fresh acidity plays with polished tannins to create a harmonic, voluptuous Ama Chianti Classico that expresses all of the elegance of the estate’s wines.

Wine Summary

96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot; alcohol: 13.5%; soils clay-calcareous; altitude: 1500 – 1720 feet; high density planting: 5200 vines/ha; varieties harvested and fermented separately into stainless steel tanks; only indigenous yeasts; malolactic fermentation in stainless steel; blended and aged in second passage oak barriques; bottled in January 2022.

Technical Information
  • 96% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Total Acidity: 5.7 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: <1 g/l
  • Extract: 29.9

Reviews

93 Points

Blue flower, sandalwood, cassis and spice shape the nose on this lovely red. All about finesse and youthful tension, the savory, elegantly structured palate features juicy Morello cherry, coffee bean and star anise framed in taut, fine-grained tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced and focused. Drink through 2027.

Wine Enthusiast, July, 2022

90 Points

An expression of Castello di Ama’s young vines – 10 to 12 years old – Ama is aged in second passage barriques. The delightfully fruity and vibrant nose exudes rose and lavender, with oak notes in the background. Plump sweet fruit on the mid-palate speaks to the modest dollop of Merlot in the blend. The tannins are velvety and polished, and the acidity is refreshing. A citrussy tang brings this near-term charmer to a close. 2022 – 2026

Decanter, March, 2022

90 Points

The 2020 Chianti Classico Ama is a pretty, understated wine that shows the vivid side of Sangiovese in its bright, red-fleshed fruit. Medium bodied and vibrant, with brisk acids and lifted aromatics, the 2020 is a gorgeous wine to drink now and over the next 10-15 years. Ama is the estate’s young-vines Chianti Classico. I loved it. 2022 – 2032

This set of new releases from Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti is the most impressive I have ever tasted here. The wines are strong across the board, while the 2019 flagship wines – La Casuccia, Bellavista and L’Apparita – are off the charts great. Pallanti has long coaxed notable intensity from these vineyards, but the 2019s add dimensions of freshness and energy that are simply breathtaking. I tasted these wines a few weeks later in my home in New York, far away from the bucolic setting of Ama, and was equally blown away.

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, July, 2022

90 Points

Fleshy and firm, with plum, cherry, iron and Tuscan scrub flavors. Reveals tannins, but is mouthwatering in the end. Sangiovese and Merlot. Drink now through 2027.

Wine Spectator, September, 2022

93 Points

A fresh and composed red with blackcurrant and blueberry aromas with minerals and citrus underneath. It’s medium-bodied with fine tannins and a racy, long finish. Drink or hold.

jamessuckling.com, August, 2022

91+ Points

The entry level bottling of Ama Chianti Classico is made from the younger vines in the estate’s vineyards. The wine is composed from a blend of ninety-six percent sangiovese and four percent merlot. The wine is aged in used barriques and comes in at 13.5 percent octane in this vintage. It offers up a beautiful bouquet of cherries, gamebird, bonfire, a touch of orange peel, fresh oregano and a lovely base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and complex, with an excellent core of fruit, a fair bit of ripe tannin and superb backend energy and grip on the long and still fairly youthful finish. This is approachable now with half an hour in decanter, but it is truly still a young wine and deserves at least a few years in the cellar to allow its backend tannins to soften up properly. It is an excellent Chianti! 2022 – 2045

View From The Cellar, November, 2022

91 Points

Castello di Ama settles on a tried-and-true formula with its 2020 Chianti Classico Ama. The trick is to present the elegant side of Sangiovese (blended in this case with a touch of Merlot) while also remaining fun, accessible and easy-drinking. The 2020 vintage brings forth a bit more heat and fruit concentration, but it also shows delicate cassis, red rose and Mediterranean aromas. The tannins are gentle and the mouthfeel is streamlined. 2022 – 2026

© Wine Advocate, February, 2023

92 Points

This Chianti Classico is a crowd pleaser in the best sense. Its flavors of juicy cherry and plum are framed by fine-grained tannins and infused with vibrant salinity that makes your mouth water for roast chicken or pork tenderloin, yet it’s smooth enough to drink on its own.

Wine and Spirits, April, 2023

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