Castello di Ama

Vigneto La Casuccia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – 2020

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
  • 1st quarter of 2020 without winter – clear, sunny days and no snow
  • March brought lower temperatures and slowed growth
  • Warmth of summer and soil moisture led to good maturation
  • End August rain and September cool nights and warm days created good ripening and aromatic development
  • Hand harvesting began mid-late September, ended October 8
    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

Purple notes mixed with a red-ruby color in the glass. Aromas of red fruits, richness and intensity with teriary notes. The mouthfeel is opulent and powerful. Rich, ripe, well-balanced tannins complement the long, delicate yet persistent finish.

Wine Summary

80% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot; Alcohol: 14%; vines planted in 1978 and 2007; soils clay and calcareous; hand harvested from mid-late September to October 8; 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: 14%
  • Total Acidity: 5.7 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: < 1 g/l
  • Extract: 32.7 mg/l

Reviews

97+ Points

Usually a wine of sensuality, the 2020 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto La Casuccia is a powerhouse. That is probably a good thing for its long-term aging prospects, but readers will have to patient. Intense savory and mineral notes infuse the 2020 with tons of complexity. Even in this warm year, the 2020 is not opulent, but it is packed with tremendous intensity and pure power. Red-toned Sangiovese fruit emerges over time, but the 2020 is going to require a measure of patience. 2026 – 2040

Vinous - Antonio Galloni, June, 2023

97 Points

This is beautiful and decadent with notes of ripe red and dark berries with sweet spices, bark and hints of dried leaves. Full-bodied and tight with finely polished and compact tannins that run the whole length of the wine. Long and firm with granite-like presence on the finish. A little chewy at the end. A blend of sangiovese and merlot. Try after 2026.

jamessuckling.com, June, 2023

96 Points

Plum, blackberry and earth flavors show a hint of caramel in this suave, muscular red, framed by toasty oak. This feels fluid and open, until the dense, beefy tannins unleash their presence on the finish. Persistent and fresh, with a long aftertaste. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2026 through 2045.

Wine Spectator, November, 2023

96 Points

The estate’s second cru, Casuccia was born in 1985 – seven years after Bellavista. It is slightly lower in altitude than the latter and tilts towards the west rather than the east. The presence of Merlot also makes a crucial difference. Ripe blue plum and blackberry are embedded with smoke and toasty oak. While this is rounder than Bellavista there is no lack of structure: the dense fruit core is well padded with fleshy, broad tannins flexing assertive muscle. Bay leaf and tobacco impart a savoury edge, pushed by underlying stony minerals. 2026 – 2041

Decanter, April, 2024

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