96 Points, James Suckling
"Classic" 96 points “This has a dusty character on the nose with soil, dried fruit and blueberry. Flowers too. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. and structured. Shows wonderful depth of fruit and beauty. Chewy.” - James Suckling, 96 Points
When it comes to Tuscan wines, it appears that all you hear and read about is Brunellos and Bordeaux Blends from Bolgheri and Maremma. What ever happened to Chianti Classico? The DOCG is still alive and well with a bevy of great producers. Castello di Ama is one of those producers waiving the quality banner, setting the bar extremely high for site specific Sangiovese. Over the last 20 years, there's only a handful of producers that has achieved the consistency and greatness of that of Castello di Ama.
James Suckling 96 Points!! The newest release of the "San Lorenzo" Gran Selezione maintains the estate's position in the Chianti Classico top echelon of releases. The 2011 received its highest rating by James Suckling who for years tasted and reported on the releases of this historic estate with the Wine Spectator. The wine's quality is on par with any of the top Brunello, as well as any Bolgheri Super Tuscan. If anything, the wine illustrates the Sangiovese in it's true self and identifies a "sense of place".
The estate is situated between Radda and Gaiole in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. Historically, this is Etruscan country with references to the region's wines that date back to 998. The "San Lorenzo" is sourced from the finest vineyards on the estate. Some of the parcels have vines that date back to the mid-1970s. The wine is not 100% Sangiovese, but the balance of the wine is comprised of Merlot for added suppleness and Malvasia Nera to bolster up the color and concentration. The Sangiovese is not muddled with this varietal mix, but sings with gorgeous aromatics and exotic spice.
The "Gran Selezione" will hold up to any of the Riservas of the DOCG as well as any high-scoring Brunello. It will only become more impressive with a few more years of bottle rest. This deserve a space in your Italian collection so take advantage of great pricing for a wine that is not easily found in the states due to its relatively small production and thus limited allocation into the country. Sure this is not your every day Chianti, but it stands with any of the great reds from any region in the world.
Winery Tasting Note:
"A ruby red that is at the same time luminous, lively, and intense. The bouquet is composed of wild red berry fruit. A gorgeous, aromatic marriage of fruit and spice mark an impressive attack, in a wine that is overall refined and stylish."
Castello di Ama sits 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 property is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Marco Pallanti and Lorenza Sebasti. Over the last quarter century they have replanted all of the vineyards and upgraded all of the winemaking capabilities to make this one of Tuscany’s showcase producers.
Bring on the Italian Classics .... Risotto & Wild Mushrooms and sear and roasted Veal Chop.