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Castello di Ama Il Chiuso Pinot Nero 1997

Pinot Noir from Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Brilliant ruby red in color with lots of varietal character in the bouquet. Ripe with good fruit, reminiscent of raspberries and cherries. Concentrated, balanced in the finish. Recommended with a wide variety of dishes from richer fish dishes to meats.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Castello di Ama

    Castello di Ama

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    Castello di Ama, Tuscany, Italy
    Image of winery
    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 regions of Italy 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, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

    Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. 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, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

    SOU75233_1997 Item# 37497