Castello di Ama

Vigneto Bellavista Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 2018


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

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
  • Soils: Clay and calcareous
  • Altitude: 460–525 meters
  • Vine training systems: 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
  • Large diurnal temperature swimgs in Fall allowed good aroma development
  • 2018 wines will be fruity with excellent and balance
  • Extraordinary polyphenols this growing season
  • Repeated sampling and organolepic analyses determined harvest began 8/29/2018
  • Hand harvested into 10–12kg crates, ending 10/15/2018
  • Only ambient yeast vinification, separately for each variety in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks
  • Fermentation between 86–91ºF with manual pumpovers:
    • 22 days Sangiovese
    • 26 days Merlot
  • Malolactic fermentation in barrel, followed by blending
  • Aged in 40% new, balance 1 yr old, oak barriques for 14 months
Winemaker's Notes

In the glass, pure ruby red. Pomegranate and exotic dark berries intrigue the nose with fragrant tobacco hints. The palate is succulent and juicy, with  supple, silky texture and complex nuances. This wine is delicious now and also built for cellaring.

Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese, 20% Malvasia Nera; Alcohol: 13.5%; Vines planted 1974-1978 and 2007; soils clay and calcareous; hand harvested from 8/29 – 10/15/2018; fermented separately using only indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks at 86–91°F; blended and aged in 40% new barriques for 14 months.

Technical Information
  • 80% Sangiovese, 20% Malvasia Nera
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Total Acidity: 5.5 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: <1 g/l
  • Extract: 32.3 g/l


94 Points

A rich, intense red, displaying black cherry, blackberry, menthol, iron and graphite flavors, this is polished and expressive, yet with beefy tannins lining the chalky finish. All the components are there—this just needs time. Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. Best from 2024 through 2040.

Wine Spectator, May, 2022

98 Points

The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista marries Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera, a combination that works so well. The Bellavista is a powerful, vertical wine endowed with explosive and tremendous energy. Like all the top wines, it needs the better part of a decade to show all it’s got. Gravel, smoke, leather, licorice and scorched earth. 2026 – 2041

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, September, 2021

97 Points

This is a very deep and serious Chianti Classico with bark, dark-mushroom and blackberry aromas that follow through to a full body with very polished and integrated tannins that are long and classy. A sophisticated and glorious wine. Drink in 2024 and onwards, but already very pretty., August, 2021

93 Points


Camphor, dark spice, blue flower and a whiff of forest floor shape the alluring nose on this delicious red. Elegantly structured and all about finesse and flavor, the savory, focused palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, orange zest, licorice and cassis alongside taut, ultrarefined tannins. Made with 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Nera, it’s beautifully balanced, with bright acidity. 2025–2038

Wine Enthusiast, May, 2022

94 Points

The 2018 vintage of Vigneto Bellavista is composed from a blend of eighty percent Sangiovese and twenty percent Malvasia Nera. The wine was raised in forty percent new oak this year, with the balance of the casks being “one wine barrels” for fourteen months prior to bottling. The wine offers up a beautiful bouquet of red and black cherries, cigar wrapper, Tuscan herb tones, a complex base of dark soil, a gentle touch of nutskin and a nice framing of cedary new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and tangy, with excellent depth at the core, fine soil signature, ripe, well-integrated tannins and fine balance on the long, complex finish. This will want some cellaring time to properly soften up and blossom, but it is going to be stellar once it is ready to drink. 2030 – 2075

View From The Cellar, March, 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