Castello di Ama has a storied history dating back to the 15th century in the village of Ama, where a castle was reduced to rubble during the Aragonese invasion. Centuries later, the leftover stone was used to reconstruct new dwellings for the famous Pianigiani and Ricucci families, now home to the Castello di Ama. In the 70s, the estate caught the eye of three friends who together created s small company and began replanting the vineyards around the estate as well as constructing a modern cellar and fermentation room. In 1982 after extensive studying at the University of Bordeaux with the guidance of Patrick Leon, Marco Pallanti arrived in Ama and was appointed winemaker to the estate and is still the head winemaker to this day. The estate encompasses 75 hectares of vines around the village of Ama, with one of their key vineyards being San Lorenzo, named after a 15th-century chapel that was in the village of Ama and is considered one of the crus Chianti, producing some of the greatest Sangiovese in the region. A very consistent wine through the years, Gran Selezione San Lorenzo is a show stopper and is fantastic, and we were able to get some back vintage bottles from 2015, which is a superb vintage for Chianti. 2015 is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot, and 7% Malvasia Nera which were vinified separately in stainless steel tanks using ambient yeasts before transferring to barrels where it finished malolactic fermentation. The wines are then blended before moving to 22% new barrels to age and come together for 12 months. 2015 is a highlight from Castello di Ama and is one of the top vintages of the San Lorenzo ever produced. We have low pricing here on these bottles, which are showing very well right now, and has some big notes below.
Wine Advocate (Monica Larner) 95 points! "The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo represents a blend of some of the estate's best Sangiovese from vines that are 20 years old and more. You do feel that extra density, intensity and complexity within the very fiber of this beautiful wine. The effect is deep and layered. Castello di Ama is characterized by limestone clay soils mixed with both galestro and alberese marl stones. There is about 60 centimeters of topsoil and compacted clay below that."
James Suckling 95 points! "What first strikes you about the nose is that it offers one of the purest fruit expressions of all the 2015 Gran Seleziones. Blackcurrants, orange and lemon rind, brambleberries, heather, sage, thyme and blackberry leaves are all a feature. The tannins are steely, and the flavors are so savory. The fruit is carried through to the long, chewy finish by the highly refreshing acidity. Drink in 2020."
Decanter 94 points! "With a calcareous soil rich in shale, this vineyard is just over 19ha. The Gran Selezione is produced from the oldest vines, and the different grape varieties are blended after malolactic fermentation and aged together in barriques, of which 18% are new. It's very fresh and primary, with intriguing nuances of sous bois and blackberry with wood spice underneath. It could use a bit more time in the bottle before drinking, and has plenty of structure and stuffing for a decade or more in the cellar."