Castello di Ama

Vigneto Bellavista Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 2016


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

Wine Blend Vine Age Soil Type Vineyard Area ha or acres
Vigneto Bellavista Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sangiovese (80%), Malvasia Nera (20%) Planted 1974-1978, 2007 Clay and calcreous 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 acres replanted in 2007. The plot of 22 parcels of land were terraced to improve exposure 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.

  • Exposure:  North-East/South-West
  • Soil: Clay and calcareous
  • Altitude: 1510-1720 feet/460–525 meters
  • Training system: vertical trellis, single Guyot
  • CLONE SELECTION: Sangiovese CC2000 1, CC2000 2, CC2000 4, CC2000 5,  Malvasia Nera  MN6 Portainnesto 420
  • Planting density: 5,200 plants/Ha; 2,800 plants/Ha for old plantings
  • First vintage: 1978
Harvest Notes

Winter was mild and rainy. In April, temperatures raised rapidly, while May and June were very unstable. Summer arrived in July and there were great temperature excursions between night and day, which helped to develop aromas and flavors in the wine. Although we had hail at the end of August, grapes were very healthy.

  • Malvasia Nera harvest: 9/27/19
  • Sangiovese harvest: 9/30/19
  • Each variety vinified with ambient yeasts in steel tanks at controlled temperature 86-91°F
  • Manual pumpovers for 22 days for Sangiovese and 26 days for Malvasia Nera total cuvaison
  • Wines separately transferred to barriques for malolactic fermentation, then blended
  • Aging: 18% new thin-grain oak barriques, remainder used, for 10 months
Winemaker's Notes

Pure ruby-red color. An extremely elegant nose, with spice notes nuanced with coffee notes. Ripened red fruits on the palate – succulent, intriguing and long lasting. Tannins are ripe, armonic and delicate.

Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese, 20% Malvasia Nera; Alcohol: 13.5%; Vines planted 1974-1978 and 2007; soils clay and calcareous; fermented separately using only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks at 86-91°F; blended and aged in 18% new barriques for 10 months.

Technical Information
  • Blend: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Malvasia Nera
  • Alcohol:  13.5%
  • Total Acidity:  5.1  g/L
  • Residual Sugar:  ≤ 0.5 g/L
  • Extract:  32.1 g/L


98 Points

The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista sees fruit sourced from one of Castello di Ama’s most beautiful vineyards with a wide exposures and plenty of sunshine. This wine shows profound complexity and a far-reaching bouquet that evolves slowly in the glass. Of these three single-vineyard Gran Selezione wines (Bellavista, La Casuccia and San Lorenzo), the Vigneto Bellavista is the most complete, but it is also the most linear and streamlined in terms of mouthfeel. I would bet on putting this wine aside in your cellar for a longer aging time. 2022 – 2042

© Wine Advocate, September, 2019

98 Points

Ama’s 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista is a flat out stunner. Dark and brooding in its first impression, the 2016 races out of the glass with explosive vertical lift. This structured, potent Chianti Classico won’t be ready to drink anytime soon, but it is immensely promising. Savory herbs, crushed rocks, chalk and dried flowers add myriad layers of dimension. The 2016 is complex, nuanced and built for cellaring. 2026 – 2041

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, August, 2019

96 Points

Aromas of black-skinned fruit, dark spice and sunbaked soil mingle with whiffs of camphor and forest floor on this enticing blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Nera. The elegant, structured palate delivers black plum, ripe black cherry, star anise and crushed mint while firm, polished tannins provide support and finesse. It’s well balanced, with bright acidity, while an earthy hint of game gives the finish depth. Drink 2023–2036.

Wine Enthusiast, April, 2020

96 Points

This is a contrast in elegance and power. The black cherry and black currant fruit is encased in a sheen of oak. Burly tannins and vivid acidity enhance the structure. Awkward today, this displays incredible elegance, with a laser of vivid acidity driving the exceptional length. Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. Best from 2023 through 2043

Wine Spectator, May, 2020

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