Castello di Ama

Haiku – 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.

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Altitude: 1375 – 1640 feet
  • Exposure: North-West/South-East
  • Soils: Clay and limestone
  • Planting Density: 5200 plants/Ha
  • Vine Training System: Vertical trellis, single Guyot for Merlot and Cabernet Franc, spurred cordon for Sangiovese
  • Clonal selection: Cabernet Franc 214, Merlot 181 & 343, Sangiovese CH21, CH22, CC2002, CC2004, rootstock 420A
Harvest Notes
  • Large diurnal temperature swings in Fall allowed good aroma development
  • 2018 wines will be fruity with excellent freshness and balance
  • Extraordinary polyphenols this growing season
  • Repeated sampling and organolepic analyses determined harvest began 8/29/2018
  • Hand harvested into 22-26lb crates, ending 10/15/2018
  • Each variety vinified separately using only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks at 86-89ºF
  • Manual pumpovers with 23 days cuvaison for Sangiovese, 26 days for Merlot, and 23 days for Cabernet Franc
  • After racking wine transferred to stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation
  • Blended, then transferred to 24% new oak barriques
Winemaker's Notes

A deep purple-red with ruby highlights. Fruity aromas of raspberry, blackberry and fruit of the forest, with spicy notes of wild herbs, pepper and tobacco. The varieties are distinct on the palate with full mouthfeel. The wine is inherently elegant with organic freshness that develops into a silky finish.

Wine Summary

50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot; alcohol: 13.5%; altitude 1375 – 1640 feet; soils calcareous with limestone; wide diurnal temperature swings led to extraordinary polyphenol development; varieties fermented in stainless steel using only indigenous yeasts; cuvaison of 23 days for Sangiovese, 25 days for Merlot, 24 days for Cabernet Franc; malolactic fermentation in stainless steel, then blended and aged in 24% new oak barriques.

Technical Information
  • 50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Total Acidity: 5.3 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: < 1 g/l
  • Extract: 32 mg/l

Reviews

95 Points

A blend of mostly Sangiovese with Cabernet Franc and Merlot in supporting roles, the Castello di Ama 2018 Haiku is a very interesting and somewhat unexpected expression that delivers big richness and lovely concentration, yet the fruit is never too ripe. In fact, it might be a tad underripe in this vintage that saw a few cooler weeks in early summer and some rain toward the end of the growing season. In all, it shows careful balance with an elegant, medium-bodied approach that is propped up by fresh and lively fruit. There are some Cabernet Franc-driven aromas of black olive tapenade. Like the other wines in this portfolio, Haiku is distinctively Mediterranean in personality. 2022 – 2038

© Wine Advocate, October, 2021

95 Points

The 2018 Haiku is fabulous. In fact, the 2018 might be the best vintage yet, as it has a bit more resonance and persistence than some of the earlier editions. Succulent dark cherry, plum, spice, new leather and spice build into the resonant finish. 2023 – 2033

Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti showed me a brilliant set of new releases during my most recent visit. The Ama wines are often showy when young, but they only reveal their true potential after a number of years in bottle. These are quite simply some of the most singular expressions of Chianti Classico readers will find. I was especially struck by the sublime magnificent 100% Merlot L’Apparita.

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, September, 2021

94 Points

Very attractive blackberry and blueberry aromas follow through to a full body with creamy tannins and a firm, racy finish. Hints of fresh herbs and nuts in the aftertaste. Very drinkable, but even better in a year or two.

jamessuckling.com, August, 2021

92 Points

Dark yet fluid and supple, boasting black currant, blackberry, violet, cedar and a touch of bell pepper. Dense and saturated with fruit on the finish, where fine tannins emerge. Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2023 through 2035.

Wine Spectator, September, 2022

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