Castello di Ama

San Lorenzo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 2019


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.


94 Points

The 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Ama San Lorenzo is a wild, beautifully layered wine. Touches of Merlot and Malvasia Nera lend striking complexity and dimension to a mid-weight yet fleshy Gran Selezione. Iron, cured meats, spice, leather and dried leaves all take shape in this deceptively mid-weight yet deep, highly expressive Gran Selezione. 2026 – 2039

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, July, 2022
95 Points

The 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo draws its fruit from various sites selected throughout the estate, and for that reason, it is often the most representative wine from Castello di Ama (despite its more approachable price). This vintage is especially interesting, showing a more formal quality of tannins for longer aging potential and softly extracted dark fruit that sets it apart. Vintner Marco Pallanti likens 2019 to 2004 or 2016, some of the best vintages in recent memory. The wine is partially aged in new oak, and the percentage of new barrels used depends on the vintage conditions. This edition sees 20% new oak, medium toast and fine grains. The team is working with lower temperatures during fermentation with more numerous pump-overs for the first couple of weeks, then the wine is left alone. Fresh cherry fruit, blackberry, spice and grilled herb emerge. 2024 – 2038

© Wine Advocate, February, 2023
97 Points

Perfumed and beautiful with flowers, cherries and raspberries. Forest fruits, too. Full-bodied with extremely fine tannins that run the length of the wine and are wonderfully integrated, spreading across the palate. Lasts for minutes. Better after 2025, but already fantastic., December, 2022
17+ Points

Gaiole. 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot, 7% Malvasia Nera.
Lustrous ruby. Pretty, lifted, minerally cherry-fruit nose with hints of mace. More perfumed and with hints of complex oak, with aeration. Elegant, supple and still a little closed on the palate and with fine, gritty, long tannins. Long and supple but not fully open yet. 2024 – 2034, April, 2023
94 Points

Marco Pallanti selects grapes from four parcels—Bellavista, La Casuccia, San Lorenzo and Montebuoni—to make this finely-woven wine, blending in small amounts of merlot and malvasia nera to enhance sangiovese’s bright acidity and ripe dark-cherry flavors. It shows an intense salinity gained from Ama’s rocky alberese soils, and mouthwatering acidity from Ama’s high-elevation vineyards. For all its intensity, the 2019 San Lorenzo has a velvety texture that is immediately appealing, perfect for roasted game birds or braised pork.

Wine and Spirits, April, 2023
94 Points

A blend of the estate’s four historic vineyards – Bellavista, Casuccia, San Lorenzo and Montebuoni – from plantings that are at least 25 years old, this bottling is, for now, Castello di Ama’s flagship Gran Selezione. There’s plenty to unpack here. A top note of vanilla complements red cherry, tobacco and thyme. Diving into the palate, the juicy red plum core is nuanced by freshly turned earth and rose. Assertive in personality but equally gracious, it’s hard to resist at the moment. Those well-formed tannins of polished wood, and charming grapey scratchiness should keep this in nick for the next eight to 10 years. 2023 – 2033

Decanter, April, 2023
95 Points

Sleek and racy, featuring cherry, blackberry, violet and iron aromas and flavors. This red is more about fruit and finesse, though there’s an element of wild Mediterranean scrub. Firm, with dense, resonant tannins and a long finish. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2026 through 2045

Wine Spectator, May, 2023
94 Points

The San Lorenzo bottling from Castello di Ama is not a single vineyard wine, but is made from a selection of the finest bunches grown each year in the Bellavista, La Casuccia, Montebuoni and San Lorenzo vineyards. The 2019 San Lorenzo comes in at 13.5 percent alcohol in this year and was made from a blend of eighty percent sangiovese, thirteen percent merlot and seven percent malvasia nera, with the wine raised in just over twenty percent new oak for one year prior to bottling. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a refined constellation of red and black cherries, cigar wrapper, gentle spice tones, a beautifully complex base of soil, gamebird, coffee bean, woodsmoke and a discreet framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and complex, with superb depth at the core, lovely soil inflection and grip, fine grained, buried tannins and a long, elegant and extremely promising finish. This is my favorite of the 2019 Gran Selezione bottlings from Castello di Ama that I tasted for this report, as I love its inherent sense of elegance. 2030 – 2075

View From The Cellar, November, 2023