Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Riserva 2009
Not the conventional Chianti, but its serious of intent may well have exceeded any good Brunellos. And, it is from Gaiole, the heart of Chianti!!
WE, JS wrote well about this wine, and RP being so consistent with his 3-time rating, so Team thought there is no need to repeat. Sufficed to say that the immediate impression on the nosedeep, dark and complex. Rich black cherry and blackberry and its hard+pleasant hard edge suggests seriousness. Overlying the fruit is layered cedar, dried violets, charred sandalwood, faint vanilla bean, not as chewy, showing lean black cherry, dried flowers, and subtle grilled meat. Very firm and structured, but still quite approachable because of the fine fruit component. There is a long savory finish of ovre 15 seconds, with minerality and fine grained grip. All vines are vertically-trellised, are trained to the open lyre system and pruned to Guyot and spurred cordon, hence it has a good ripeness (treliis to absorb sun heat balanced by wine and en lyre to attract heat release from soil and stones) by design. The varieties, grafted onto 420A rootstock, are 80% Sangiovese(red fruits, tomatos ) and 20% Malvasia Nera (giving spice, warmth and elegant fruit), Merlot (giving rounder, more body) and Cabernet Franc (licorice, leaves and inky tones)
The 65.38hectare specialised vineyard, enrolled in the official Chianti Classico DOCG Registry, lies at elevations ranging between Today it has a density of 5,300 vines/ha. The vines, all 390 and 530 metres, planted in quite rocky limestone-clay soils, hence the wine is structured, intense and complex.
Later harvest, between 29 Sept and 12 Oct, following an initial quality selection in the vineyard, the clusters were hand-picked into small 12-kg boxes and brought into the cellar, for a total of some 2,000 quintals. The clusters were quality-graded again on sorting tables, then de-stemmed and pressed. The must, kept separate for each grape variety, fermented in steel at about 30-32oC, with repeated daily punch-downs(not much though) . Long, 21-23 day maceration followed. After racking, the 1,400 Hl of wine completed its malolactic fermentation. So the wine has been designed with a big structure in mind. Should live very long, like still has over 10 years to go. Yet ABV is merely 13.3%!! Towards mid-December, the lots of wine were assembled into the final blend and put into oak barrels, 20% new and the remainder previously used, where it rested for 24 months.
WE 93 Points
Here’s an elegant wine made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia and Merlot. It opens with an alluring floral fragrance that recalls violet, rose and wild cherries. The bright palate is all about finesse, offering a core of mouthwatering black cherry spiced up with white and black pepper alongside silky but firm tannins that carry through to the finish. Editors’ Choice. —K.O
Wine Enthusiast, April, 2014
WA 92 Points
The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Castello di Ama is striking. Dark red cherries, flowers, mint, licorice and spices caress the palate in this fleshy. The radiance of the fruit is suggestive of a warm year, but the tannic profile, medium body and overall structure is more similar to that of a colder vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
© Wine Advocate, June, 2012