Castello di Ama

Vigneto La Casuccia 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 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 vintages, parcels 49, 46 and 45 contribute most to the limited production of this vineyard selection.

  • Exposure: North-East/South-West
  • Altitude: 1540-1625 feet/470–495 meters
  • Soil: Clay and calcareous
  • 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 Planting Density: 5,200/Ha
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
  • A warm and dry summer followed
  • 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 27 days
  • Merlot fermentation for 25 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

Pure ruby red with purple highlights. Tertiary notes of pipe tobacco and leather emerge on the nose. Full, ripe tannins on the palate. The finish is harmonic, delicate and long.

Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot; Alcohol: 13.5%; vines planted in 1978 and 2007; soils clay and calcareous; hand harvested from 9/5 – 10/10/2019; 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, balance 1 year used 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 g/l

Reviews

100 Points

The 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto La Casuccia is stunning. What a wine! In this vintage, the aromatics are huge and expansive, a theme that comes through on the palate as well. Cedar, tobacco, dried leaves, incense and blood orange all race out of the glass. The 2019 is mind-blowing in its intensity, pedigree and overall balance. It’s the wine of the vintage in Chianti Classico. 2027 – 2044

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, June, 2022

97 Points

The 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto la Casuccia is a wine of intensity, volume and power. Yet it also shows impeccable balance thanks to the deft hands of the estate winemaking team. I find this edition of la Casuccia, with fruit from a steep vineyard that faces the Castello, to be especially full and rich. Fruit weight and concentration is indeed a characteristic of this classic growing season, and this wine wears it well. You are treated to plenty of blackberry, spice, tobacco and grilled herb. 2024 -2045

© Wine Advocate, February, 2023

95 Points

Cool blueberry aromas with purple fruit and an inky highlight. Black licorice as well. Full-bodied with firm and racy tannins that are polished yet structured. Fairly tight and closed right now. It needs time to open and soften with bottle age. Try after 2025.

jamessuckling.com, September, 2022

96 Points

Broad and packed with succulent flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry, this red is supported by a dense, burly structure that should allow it to evolve nicely over the next two decades. Reveals iron, earth, eucalyptus and tobacco accents by the finish. All the elements are there, this just needs time. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2026 through 2045.

Wine Spectator, April, 2023

97 Points

Castello di Ama’s vineyards all lie in western Gaiole, where white, limestone-rich alberese soils predominate. La Casuccia includes a bit more clay than Marco Pallanti’s other vineyard sites, and that seems to build broader, richer tannins and intense depth in the dark fruit flavors while maintaining freshness in this warm and dry vintage. The fleshy red fruit from the 20 percent of merlot in the blend marries seamlessly with sangiovese’s leaner frame, giving a wine with juicy dark cherry and raspberry flavors tinged with notes of blood orange and a hint of mint. The wine gains energy for several days, the lively fruit tones and cool salinity lasting through a long and balanced finish.

Wine and Spirits, April, 2023

93+ Points

As I mentioned last year, the La Casuccia vineyard is more petit than neighboring Bellavista (twelve hectares versus twenty-two); half the vines here were planted here in 1978 and half in 2007. The wine’s élevage done in forty percent new oak and sixty percent one wine casks for fourteen months prior to bottling. The cépages of the 2019 La Casuccia is eighty percent Sangiovese and twenty percent Merlot and the wine comes in at 13.5 percent octane in this vintage. It offers up a beautifully refined constellation of black cherries, dark berries, bonfire, coffee bean, dark soil tones, a lovely array of Tuscan herbs, just a hint of lavender and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and youthful, with a fine core of fruit, impressive soil signature already for such a young wine, fine-grained tannins and a long, complex and seamlessly balanced, chewy finish. This too needs time in the cellar to start to blossom, but it will not demand quite as many years in hibernation before it really starts to drink well. 2030 – 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