Castello di Ama

Vigneto Bellavista Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 2015

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.

Grapes / Soils

Sangiovese (80%), Malvasia Nera (20%) 23 acres replanted from 1974-1978, and 33.4 replanted in 2007 Clay and calcareous 56.39 acres/22.82 ha

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • The Bellavista vineyard covers an area of 56.39 acres/22.82 hectares, with 23 acres replanted from 1974 to 1978, and 33.4 replanted in 2007. The plot of 22 parcels of land has been terraced to improve aspecting and ensure more uniform ripening. In the best vintages, parcels 1 to 19 of Malvasia Nera, and 21 and 22 of Sangiovese contribute most to the production of this vineyard selection.
  • Aspecting: north east / south west
  • Soil: Clay and calcareous
  • Altitude: 1510-1720 feet/460–525 metres asl
  • Training system: vertical trellis, single Guyot
  • CLONE SELECTION: Sangiovese CC2000 1, CC2000 2, CC2000 4, CC2000 5, Merlot 343 & 347. Malvasia N and MN6. Portainnesto 420.
  • Planting density: 5,200 plants/h; 2,800 plants/h for old plantings.
  • First vintage: 1978
Harvest Notes
  • Wine from vintage 2015 are fresh, with a nice alcohol degree and fruity, due to the significant temperature excursions between night and day during autumn which facilitated the aromatic structures.  Summer started late and first veraison was in early August.  Until mid-September there were sunny days and summer heat, then temperatures dropped again, especially at night.  After several samples and organoleptic analysis in our vineyards and laboratory, harvest has been carried out by hand in 10-12 kg crates on September 25th for Malvasia Nera and from October 2nd to 6th for Sangiovese.
  • Vinification was started through ambient yeasts, separately for each grape variety, in steel tanks at controlled temperature between 86°F and 91°F, with manual pumping over and a total cuvaison of 22 days for Sangiovese and 26 days for Malvasia Nera.  After the first draining off, the wine was transferred into barriques for malolactic fermentation.
  • The assemblage of the three grape varieities takes place at the end of the malolactic fermentation.  Afterwards the wine is transferred into oak barrique – of which 18% are new – of fine grain for approximately 10 months.  This wine was bottled in June 2017.
Winemaker's Notes
  • Color:  Pure ruby red
  • Nose:  Extremely elegant, spice notes nuanced with roasted coffee notes
  • Taste:  Ripened red fruits, succulent, intriguing and long-lasting.  Tannins are ripen armonic and delicate.
Wine Summary

• Made from Sangiovese (80%) and Malvasia Nera (20%) grapes.
• 23 acres replanted from 1974-1978, and 33.4 acres replanted in 2007
• Grown on soils of clay and calcareous
• Fermented in stainless steel and barriques.
• Aged in 18% new fine grain oak barriques for approximately 10 months

Technical Information
  • Blend: Sangiovese 82%; Malvasia Nera 18%
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Total acidity: 5.3 g/L
  • Residual sugar: ≤ 0.5g/L
  • Extract: 30.9 g/L

Reviews

99 Points

This awe-inspiring Chianti Classico shows blueberries, blackberries, red plums, melted chocolate, hazelnuts, violets, elderberries, heather, rose stems, ash and charcoal. Full body and a ripe yet ultra-polished sheen of tannins, which encase wonderfully rich and fresh fruit. Deep and ever so long on the finish. The silkiness is mind-boggling. Will this prove to be the greatest Chianti Classico ever made? Drink or hold.

jamessuckling.com, September, 2018

92 Points

Offers vibrant cherry and strawberry flavors out front, supported by earth, iron and tobacco notes.  Chalky tannins underline all the elements and the finish extends with a whisper of fruit, mineral and tobacco.  Best from 2021 through 2033.  25 cases imported.

Wine Spectator, October, 2018

97 Points

This wine is one of the true protagonists of the 2015 vintage.  The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista offers an unreal level of intensity and depth with profound darkness and perfectly integrated tannins versus acidity.  This wine was not produced in 2014.  This vintage only say 4,200 bottles made.  The wine pours forth with rich fruit that is tightly woven within the wine’s generous texture.  Spice, smoke and tobacco appear as brief afterthoughts.  Despite the beauty of the bouquet, this wine is ultimately all about the finesse and the elegance of its mouthfeel and that subtle game it plays alternating between brawn and grace.  Vigneto Bellavista is bellissimo.

© Wine Advocate, October, 2018

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