Castello di Ama

Montebuoni Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG – 2019

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

Castello di Ama purchased and replanted the Montebuoni vineyard in 1997, nestled on the slope of the hill parallel to Bellavista vineyard. Managed since then following the 3-pillar conception of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. 2018 was the debut wine from this vineyard.

  • Altitude: 1375-1610 feet/420–500 meters
  • Soils: Clay and calcareous
  • Exposure: North-West/South-East
  • Vine Planting Density: 5200 vines/ha
  • Vine Training System: vertical trellis with single Guyot
  • Clonal Selections: Sangiovese CH21, CH22, CC2002, CC2004; Merlot 181 & 343; Rootstock 420A
Harvest Notes
  • 2019 began with very cold temperatures and considerable day-night diurnal swings
  • January snows gave way to a warming February
  • Early spring quite cold and rainy, limiting flowering and the numbers of clusters per vine
  • Warm and dry summer
  • Hand harvesting began September 5, ended October 10
  • Each variety fermented separately using only indigenous yeasts at in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks from 82–86ºF
  • Manual pumpovers for Sangiovese, total cuvaison for 24 days
  • After racking, wine goes through malolactic fermentation in oak barriques of thin grain
  • Blended after malolactic fermentations complete
  • Aged in barrique for 12 months
  • Bottled Spring 2021
Winemaker's Notes

Deep ruby red with purple nuances. Fruit-forward. aromas of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and currant.
A well balanced, refined and harmonic palate with long-lasting aromatic profile. A pure expression of elegance

Wine Summary

2019 is the second vintage of Riserva Montebuoni; 95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot; alcohol: 13.5%; vineyard purchased and replanted 1997, on slope of hill parallel to Bellavista vineyard; harvested between September 5 & October 10; varieties vinified separately using only indigenous yeasts; 24 days cuvaison with manual pumpovers; blended after malolactic fermentations; aged 12 months in fine-grained oak barriques; bottled Spring 2021.

Technical Information
  • 95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Total Acidity: 5.4 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: < 1 g/l
  • Extract: 29.8 g/l

Reviews

91 Points

Rich, boasting cherry, plum, earth, leather and sanguine notes. Firm, yet the fruit holds its own through the lively, persistent finish. Fine balance and energy overall. Sangiovese and Merlot. Drink now through 2027.

Wine Spectator, September, 2022

93 Points

The 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva Montebuoni is a dark, sensual wine. Black cherry, plum, spice, licorice and dried herbs all take shape in a virile, layered Riserva that is a terrific bridge into the Gran Seleziones in the range. I would give this a few years in bottle. 2024 – 2034

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, June, 2022

95 Points

Very subtle aromas of dark berries, licorice and violets. Really floral and bright. Medium-bodied with very fine tannins that integrate beautifully into the wine. Such a lovely and sophisticated mouth-feel to this. Drinkable already, but better in two or three years.

© Wine Advocate, September, 2022

94 Points

This is a new wine with the inaugural 2018 vintage introduced last year. The Castello di Ama 2019 Chianti Classico Riserva Montebuoni draws its fruit from a vineyard site that sits parallel to Vigneto Bellavista about one kilometer over and enjoys similar exposures. The estate felt that it needed to fill a gap in the portfolio between the entry-level wines and the top-shelf Gran Selezioni. That’s where the Riserva Montebuoni comes in. This 15-hectare site was purchased by Marco Pallanti in 1997, and a lot of work went into moving earth and preparing the poor, clay-based terrain for planting. These results show beautifully concentrated fruit over a medium to full-bodied approach with lingering smoke, blackberry and sweet tobacco. 2023 – 2030

© Wine Advocate, February, 2023

92 Points

The second vintage of this single-vineyard Riserva, Montebuoni is sourced from vines at least 20 years old. It provides a logical progression from Ama’s annata, made from younger vines. As with the annata, ageing is in second-use French oak barriques. A sweet herbal mix of fennel and tarragon mingles with strawberry and rhubarb. Hints of vanilla permeate throughout. Smooth and polished, it glides across the palate. Lightly powdered tannins are quite delicate and well-integrated. Mouthwatering and cheerful, with a cranberry tang. 2022 – 2031

Decanter, March, 2022

17+ Points

Gaiole in Chianti. 95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot.
Lustrous crimson. A finely perfumed, concentrated nose of red fruit with a flattering oak hint. Elegant sappy cherry fruit with soft gripping tannins. Closes up and needs more time to come around fully. 2023 – 2032

JancisRobinson.com, May, 2022

93 Points

Flavors of dark cherry and black raspberry provide a pleasantly tart edge to this wine’s rich texture and warm spice notes. Pinpoint acidity and saline tones wash through the finish as the wine gains energy with exposure to air.

Wine and Spirits, April, 2023

93 Points

Castello di Ama purchased the Montebuoni vineyard in 1997 and replanted it in the same year. It lies on the slope alongside of the Bellavista vineyard. The 2019 Riserva made here this year is composed from a blend of ninety-five percent sangiovese and five percent merlot, with the wine undergoing its malo in cask and aged for one year in barriques. It offers up a deep, complex and beautifully black fruity nose of sweet dark berries, black cherries, cigar wrapper, a refined base of soil, just a touch of fresh oregano, gentle notes of cedar and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and nicely structured, with ripe tannins, a fine core of fruit, good soil signature and lovely focus and balance on the long and nascently complex finish. At age four, this is certainly approachable today, but it deserves a bit more bottle age. 2023 – 2055

View From The Cellar, November, 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