Castello di Ama Chianti Classico San Lorenzo Gran Selezione 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot and 7% Malvasia Nera, this opens with aromas of black- and red-skinned berry, pipe tobacco, tilled earth and a whiff of new leather. Elegant and taut, the palate shows tension, verve and finesse, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and hints of French oak. It’s balanced, with polished, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2021–2036. Cellar Selection.
This is a sultry wine, sangiovese’s bright cherry flavors and edgy acidity smoothed out by the addition of merlot (13 percent) and malvasia nera (seven percent). The wine rested for ten months in barriques (18 percent new), keeping the oak influence subtle as the wine developed a silky texture and finely knit flavors of tobacco leaf, toasted nuts and savory herbs. A note of menthol adds lift to the dark fruit and herb flavors, and the finish is long and elegant.
Lots of primary sour cherries, blueberries and spices here. Medium-bodied with cranberry flavors and intense acidity throughout. Little edgy on the finish, but the warmth and generosity to the juicy tannins hold this together.
One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.
However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.
Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.