Castello di Ama

Vigneto La Casuccia 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 La Casuccia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sangiovese (80%), Merlot (20%) Planted 1978, 2007 Calcareous clay 31.09 acres/12.58 ha

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

The La Casuccia vineyard covers 31.09 acres/12.58 hectares, 14.83 acres replanted in 1978 and the remainder replanted in 2007. The plot of 9 parcels of land was terraced to improve exposure and ensure more uniform ripening.  In the best of vintages, parcels 49, 46 and 45 contribute most to the limited production of this vineyard selection.

  • Exposure: North-East/South-West
  • Soil: clay and calcareous
  • Altitude: 1540-1625 feet/470–495 meters
  • Training systems: 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 & 347  Portainnesto 420
  • Vine density: 5,200/Ha

First vintage: 1985

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.

  • Merlot harvest: 9/27/19
  • Sangiovese harvest 10/4/19
  • Each variety vinified with ambient yeasts in steel tanks at controlled temperature 86-91°F
  • Manual pumpovers for 27 days for Sangiovese and 25 days for Merlot 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 with purplish notes. Nose slightly closed, tertiary notes of tobacco and leather. Tannins are ripe, harmonic and delicate.

Wine Summary

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

Technical Information
  • Blend: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot
  • Alcohol:  13.5%
  • Total Acidity:  5 g/L
  • Residual Sugar:  ≤ 0.5 g/L
  • Extract:  32.4 g/L



97 Points

The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto La Casuccia is rich, sensual and inviting, as it so often is. The addition of Merlot to Sangiovese yields a Chianti Classico built on textural resonance, with silky tannins, soft curves and tons of sheer allure. The 2016 won’t be ready to drink anytime soon, but it is unquestionably a great wine in the making. Succulent dark cherry, red plum, menthol, licorice, cloves and new oak infuse the creamy, voluptuous finish. 2024 – 2041

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, August, 2019

96 Points

From the small vineyard facing Castello di Ama from the north, the 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto la Casuccia shows a dark and hearty side with rich fruit that flows steadily from the bouquet. Like the other new releases from this iconic estate, this wine shows a pretty earthy note that is particularly well defined and fine-tuned in this vintage. The fruit is broad, thick and horizontal. This is a Sangiovese painted with broad brush strokes. It’ll stand another decade or two, or open it sooner with a pappardelle al cinghiale. 2020 – 2040

© Wine Advocate, September, 2019

97 Points

CELLAR SELECTION Mature black-skinned berry, rose, tilled soil and a balsamic whiff of eucalyptus shape the nose. The bright, elegant palate has energy, tension and depth, delivering ripe wild cherry, red plum, licorice and crushed botanical herb. Taut, fine-grained tannins lend polished support while fresh acidity keeps it balanced. A gorgeous wine. Drink through 2031.

Wine Enthusiast, April, 2020

95 Points

This aromatic Chianti Classico features violet, black cherry, leather, earth and spice flavors. A laser of bracing acidity and muscular tannins runs underneath. The balance tips toward the tannins today, but put this in your cellar for another few years. Sleek and very long. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2023 through 2042.

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