Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama Riserva – 2008


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
  • 161 acre specialised vineyard, enrolled in the official Chianti Classico DOCG Registry
  • Altitude: 1270 – 1730 feet
  • Soils: Very rocky limestone-clay
  • Vineyard Age: Planted in part between 1974 – 1978 have a density of 1200 vines per acre; parts planted from 1996 on to replace outdated vines-a process that continues today-display a density of 2150 vines/acre
  • Vine Training Systems: All vertically-trellised, trained to the open lyre system and pruned to Guyot and spurred cordon
  • All varieties are grafted onto 420A rootstock
Harvest Notes
  • February 2008 had heavy rainfalls
  • Mild March with vine-weep occurring early in the month
  • Cold & rainy April
  • Average May followed by wet June
  • High heat and dry conditions in July kept grapes healthy and continued until rains in 1st week of September
  • Sunny weather returns and held through October and full harvest season
  • Hand harvested October 3 – 5 into small 26 lb boxes
  • Visual inspection and selection on a sorting table, then destemmed and gentle pressing
  • Varieties fermented separately in stainless steel at 86-90º F with multiple pumpovers per day
  • Primary fermentation for about 22 days, followed by malolactic fermentation
  • Wine blended, then transferred to oak barriques, 20% new
  • Aged 12 months in barrel before bottling
Winemaker's Notes

A ruby red that is at the same time luminous, lively and intense. The bouquet is composed of wild red berry fruit. A gorgeous, aromatic marriage of fruit and spice mark an impressive attack, in a wine that is overall refined and stylish.

Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese with 11% Malvasia Nera, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc; alcohol: 13.5%; hand harvested October 3 – 5; primary fermentation was 22 days in steel vats; aged 12 months in 20% new barrique.

Technical Information
  • 80% Sangiovese with 11% Malvasia Nera, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc
  • Alcohol: 13.5%


95 Points

A complex bouquet of smoky cherry, plum, iron, leather and spice is enticing, while the supple texture is laden with fading fruit, spice, sanguine and tobacco flavors. Lively and long, it firms up on the finish, where the fruit and savory elements converge. Drink now through 2033.

Wine Spectator, April, 2021

91 Points

A Chianti Classico with dark-berry, walnut and balsamic character, following through to a medium body with mushroom and bark. Drying slightly at the finish. But typical for an aged wine from this region. Needs drinking., August, 2021

93 Points

The 2008 Riserva from Castello di Ama is a lovely example from a quite old school vintage, as this wine hails from a year with a cool spring, hot summer and long, temperate autumn that saw the grapes brought in from October 3rd to the 5th in 2008. The wine is eighty percent sangiovese and the other twenty percent a mix of cabernet franc, merlot and malvasia nero and the wine was raised in twenty percent new oak for a year prior to bottling. Today, the wine is drinking splendidly well, offering up a deep, black fruity bouquet of black cherries, sweet dark berries, cigar ash, a touch of nutskin, a gorgeous base of dark soil, sweet Tuscan herb tones, violets and just a touch of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a velvety attack, a beautiful core of fruit, lovely soil signature, still a bit of melting tannin and a long, seamlessly balanced and very classy finish. I love the cool vintage, sophisticated character of this wine! This is still out there in the market at $40 a bottle in the US and is a fine, fine value. 2021 – 2040

View From The Cellar, August, 2021

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