Castello di Ama

Vigneto La Casuccia 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 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
  • Vine 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
Harvest Notes
  • Large diurnal temperature swings 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:
    • 27 days Sangiovese
    • 25 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

Purplish notes grace the pure ruby red color. Nose has whiffs of leather and pipe tobacco, with fruit aromatics. Tannins are ripe, delicate and harmonic.

Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot; Alcohol: 13.5%; vines planted in 1978 and 2007; soils clay and calcareous; hand harvested from 8/29 – 10/15/2018; varieties fermented separately in stainless steel tanks using only indigenous yeasts at controlled temperatures 86-91°F; malolactic fermentation and blending in oak;  aged in 40% new  oak barriques for 14 months.

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


95 Points

This is packed with succulent blackberry, black cherry, plum, tar, iron and tobacco aromas and flavors, aligned with a base of burly tannins. Fresh and vigorous, with a lingering aftertaste of fruit, mineral and wild herbs. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2024 through 2040.

Wine Spectator, May, 2022

97 Points

The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto La Casuccia is fabulous. A heady, opulent wine, the 2018 possesses tremendous energy to match its explosive personality. The plush fruit and soft, silky curves are pure Casuccia. The 2018 needs at least a handful of years in bottle, as it is a wine that only truly blossoms with time. 2028 – 2043

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, September, 2021

95 Points

A very polished and refined bottle with creamy, velvety tannins that are poised and fine. Medium-bodied with a lovely center palate and a flavorful finish. A little tight at the end. Try after 2022 and onwards., August, 2021

94 Points

All about elegance, this fragrant red opens with aromas of cedar, dark spice, coffee bean and blue flower. Linear and polished, the palate is still rather youthfully austere, featuring juicy black cherry, cassis and licorice framed in fine-grained tannins. 2026–2031

Wine Enthusiast, May, 2022

94 Points

La Casuccia is a smaller vineyard than the Bellavista (twelve hectares versus twenty-two), with half of the vines having been planted here in 1978 and half in 2007. The wine is treated exactly the same as the Bellavista in the cellar, with elevage done in forty percent new oak and sixty percent one wine casks for fourteen months prior to bottling. However, the cépages is a touch different, as the La Casuccia is composed of eighty percent Sangiovese and twenty percent Merlot. The wine’s aromatic constellation is excellent, wafting from the glass in a black fruity mix of dark berries, black cherries, cigar ash, dark soil tones, fresh oregano, coffee bean and cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full bodied and a touch more plush on the attack than the Bellavista, with an excellent core of fruit, firm, ripe tannins and fine focus and grip on the long, complex and very well-balanced finish. This does not quite have the same bounce of acidity as the Bellavista, no doubt due to the difference in cépages, but it is equally structured and will need approximately the same amount of bottle age before it really starts to drink with generosity. The wine is excellent. 2031 – 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