Castello di Ama

Vigneto Bellavista Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 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

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
  • Altitude: 1510-1720 feet/460–525 meters
  • Soils: Clay and calcareous
  • Vine Training Systems: Vertical trellis, single Guyot
  • Cline Selection: Sangiovese CC2000 1, CC2000 2, CC2000 4, CC2000 5, Malvasia Nera MN6 Portainnesto 420
  • Vine PlantingDensity: 5,200 plants/Ha; 2,800 plants/Ha for older plantings
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 86–91ºF
  • Manual pumpovers
  • Sangivovese fermentation for 22 days
  • Malvasia Nera fermentation for 26 days
  • Wines racked into barriques for malolactic fermentation
  • Aged 14 months in 40% new, fine grained barriques, the balance in 1 year old barriques
Winemaker's Notes

Brilliant ruby red color. Intriguing aromas of exotic dark berries and pomegranate with fragrant tobacco notes. The palate is juicy and succulent with a silky texture, complexed and nuanced. 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; malolactic fermentation in barriques; aged in 40% new, balance 1 year used barriques for 14 months.

Technical Information
  • 80% Sangiovese, 20% Malvasia Nero
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Total Acidity: 5.5 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: < 1 g/l
  • Extract: 32 g/l

Reviews

98 Points

The glorious Bellavista Vineyard appears under the sunlight over the slope of a hill as you approach Castello di Ama. The 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista is only produced in the very best vintages, and annual production hovers from 5,000 to 6,000 bottles. Production was skipped in 2017, 2014, 2012 and 2010. This stunning wine reveals beautiful concentration with just the right amount of fruit weight, which feels rich but not heavy. The wine also appears compact and firm, with outstanding depth that is teased across aromas of wild berry fruit, crushed mineral, rose, tobacco and minty herb. The wine’s complexity unfolds carefully with time in the glass. 2024 – 2045

© Wine Advocate, February, 2023

97+ Points

The 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista soars out of the glass with breathtaking intensity in all of its dimensions. The aromatics alone are striking, but that’s just the beginning. Rich and sumptuous on the palate, the 2019 is the most refined Bellavista I have ever tasted, and I have tasted them all. A healthy dollop of Malvasia Nera adds savory notes and a good deal of grip, while clean mineral nuances extend the finish. The tannins are especially polished, which they rarely are in a young Bellavista. 2027 – 2044

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, June, 2022

96 Points

Blackberry, brambleberry, bark and mushroom aromas follow through to a full body with deep and chewy tannins and a long finish. This is very structured. Needs time to soften. Drink after 2025.

jamessuckling.com, September, 2022

97 Points

Dark and brooding, this red evokes violet, black currant and black cherry flavors accented by wild herbs, iron, sanguine and spice notes. Underlined by a steely structure and vibrant acidity, this shows fine balance and harmony, yet will require more time to ultimately attain its sweet spot. Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. Best from 2026 through 2047. Best from 2026 – 2047

Wine Spectator, April, 2023

95 Points

This wine’s dark cherry and plum flavors are almost sweet in their ripeness, the flavors enhanced by lively spice notes and floral scents from 20 percent of malvasia nera, which bolsters sangiovese’s fine tannins. The deeply concentrated fruit tones gain notes of roasted mushroom and savory herbs as the wine opens in the glass, maintaining a smooth texture through the long finish.

Wine and Spirits, April, 2023

93 Points

Roughly half of the Bellavista vineyard was planted between 1974 and 1978, with the balance replanted in 2007. The 2019 version is crafted from a cépages of eighty percent Sangiovese and twenty percent Malvasia Nera. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts, undergoes malo in barriques and was raised in forty percent new oak this year for fourteen months prior to bottling. The wine tips the scales at fourteen percent octane in this vintage and delivers a beautiful bouquet of sweet dark berries, espresso, cigar smoke, dark soil tones, just a hint of Tuscan herbs and a deft framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full bodied and still quite primary, with a superb core of black fruit, fine focus and grip, firm, chewy tannins and lovely balance on the long, nascently complex and quite soil-driven finish. This is a very young bottle of Chianti and will demand some hibernation time in the cellar to let its tannins soften up properly. In due course, it will be a fine and quite long-lived bottle. 2033 – 2075

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