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Castello di Ama La Casuccia Chianti Classico 1997

Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
  • RP92
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • JS97
  • WS94
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

Ruby red in color with abundant fruit on the nose. Ripe and warm. The Merlot adds softness and depth to this wine. Incredible extraction and concentration. Excellent structure. Recommended with grilled and roasted meats and game.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
WS 91
Wine Spectator
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Castello di Ama

Castello di Ama

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Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico, Chianti, 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.

Chianti Classico

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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 for its superiority, 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’s Dalmasso commission added land to this historic zone 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 is therefore 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, tobacco, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Itaaly's elite red grape varieties 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

Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

HNYCAMLCC97C_1997 Item# 59696