Castello di Ama

Vigneto La Casuccia 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%), Merlot (20%) Planted 1978, 2000 Calcareous clay 31.09 acres/12.58 ha

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • The La Casuccia vineyard covers 56.39 acres/22.82 hectares, 23 acres replanted in 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 of 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: 1540-1625 feet/470–495 metres asl
  • Training system: 8.04h as vertical trellis, single Guyot; 4.54h as open lyre.
  • CLONE SELECTION: Sangiovese CC2000 1, CC2000 2, CC2000 4, CC2000 5, Merlot 343 and 347.  Portainnesto 420.
  • Vine density: 5,200 plants/h
  • First vintage: 1985
Harvest Notes

 

  • Climate: 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 droppped 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 14th for Merlot and October 4th for Sangiovese.
  • Vinification: Vinification started through ambient yeasts, separately for each grape variety, in steel tanks at controlled temperature between 86° and 91°F, with manual pumping over and a total cuvaison of 22 days for Sangiovese and 25 days for Merlot.  After the first draining off, the wine was transferred into barriques for malolactic fermentation.
  • Refinement: The assemblage of the two varieties takes place at the end of the malolactic fermentation.  Afterwards the wine is transferred into oak barriques – 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 with purplish notes
  • Nose: Closed at this step, tertiary notes of pipe tobacco and leather
  • Taste: Tannic flavor.  Tannins are ripen armonic and delicate.
Wine Summary
  • Made from Sangiovese (80%) and Merlot(20%) grapes.
  • Vine age – planted 1974-1978 and 2007
  • Grown on soils of calcareous clay.
  • Fermented in stainless steel at 86-91°F and barriques.
  • Aged in stainless steel tanks and 18% new oak barriques for 10 months.
Technical Information
  • Alcohol:  13.50%
  • Total Acidity:  5.1 g/L
  • Residual Sugar:  ≤ 0.5 g/L
  • Extract:  32.1 g/L
  • Blend:  Sangiovese 80%; Merlot 20%

Reviews

98 Points

Crazy aromas of wild hyacinths, blueberries, rose petals, lilies, jasmine, incense, black plums and dark chocolate. Hints of earth and mushrooms, too. The complexity is off the scale. The palate is all about the acidity, which could be edgy enough to throw you off a cliff, but the seamless tannins and beautiful, long finish are also unmistakable in their beauty and finesse. A wine that makes you think. Better in 2021, but it is already a beauty.

jamessuckling.com, September, 2018

95 Points

This has drive and elegance, an ideal foil for the cherry, black currant, wild herb and mineral flavors.  Shows energy and balance, though this will need time for all the elements to integrate fully.  Offers a nice, chewy, licorice-tinged finish.  Best from 2022 through 2038.  25 cases imported.

Wine Spectator, October, 2018

95+ Points

Compared to Castello di Ama’s other top Gran Selezione expressions, the 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto La Casuccia offers thick brushstrokes of ripe fruit, spice and crushed stone.  Perhaps this wine has less depth compared to the others, but this is only by a tiny fraction.  This wine exhibits immediate boldness, suppleness and richness, especially in this warm and exuberant vintage.  The wine finishes with dark fruit flavors and firmly structured tannins.

© 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