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Castello di Ama Al Poggio Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Tuscany, Italy
  • D91
0% ABV
  • WS90
  • JS90
  • WS87
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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D 91
Decanter
Castello di Ama own 80ha in Tuscany, mostly planted to red varietals, although the calcareous soils and altitude of around 500 metres also enables them to successfully grow Chardonnay. This example, from 100% estate fruit, has a faintly tropical nose with some butterscotch and cream hints. The palate is striking for its elegant structure of mineral acids and subtle wood casing, with juicy - but not quite free-flowing - tropical and stone fruits within. This either needs time, or food, to open it up.
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Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama

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Castello di Ama, Tuscany, Italy
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Ama is an old, fortified village situated near Radda and Gaiole in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. The Castello or Castle of Ama is surrounded by the beautiful Tuscan countryside and is near some of the original, noble families of the Chianti region. The meticulously cultivated vineyards are privy to optimal exposures and consist of fertile soils. Ama is a modern estate comprising 500 acres of land, 200 of which are vineyards. These vineyards are divided into five important parcels; San Lorenzo, Bellavista, La Casuccia, Bertinga and Montebuoni. In the 1970s, four families formed a partnership and purchased the property with the goal of producing world-class wines. Castello Di Ama is unique, employing its best Sangiovese to produce Chianti Classico, unlike many Tuscan producers who have chosen to blend their best Sangiovese into Vini da Tavola or Super Tuscans. In addition to the acclaimed Chianti Classico produced in each vintage, the crus of Bellavista and La Casuccia are produced only in outstanding vintages and in extremely limited quantity. These wines in their concentration, harmony and overall elegance represent the best expression of Sangiovese in Tuscany.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

CWMKT0116_2016 Item# 485108