~ Sunset over Castello di Ama ~

Three Varietals
Castello di Ama joined
Bottled Poetry 

In 1997, after careful soil and climatic analysis, the team at Castello di Ama were convinced that Cabernet Franc,  never before planted on the estate,  could indeed thrive in this sliver of Tuscany.  Preparation commenced and by 2001, the vines were planted in the Montebuoni vineyard.   The estate’s vineyards cover almost 200 acres and although Ama is itself, a miniature oasis, or “Borgo” the property sits nearest to Gaiole in Chianti.  

Winemaker Marco Pallanti takes enormous pride that his wines are produced with only estate grown grapes and only through painstaking hand made processes. His three Chianti Classico wines now bear the “Gran Selezione” designation and are consistently impressive efforts.   Haiku is Castello di Ama’s newest wine, having first been created with the 2009 vintage.  This article covers the most newly released vintage; 2011.  

The 2011 Castello di Ama Haiku – as my Haiku above implies,  is a blend of three varietals;  Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  Fermented in large oak vessels, the wine is blended and then refined for up to 12 months in barrique, only 30% of which are new.   

In the glass, the wine is a deep purple color, no doubt the influence of the international varietals.  From the glass, the aromas are somewhat reticent at the moment, but after some excessive agitation (i.e. swirlitude)  you are able to coax aromas of blue flowers, lavender, and crushed berry.  The primary focus here appears to be on bright fruit and high toned floral notes. There is very little imparted from wood or earth at the moment.  

Polished on the palate, with persistent black and red plum flavors and a fleshy texture that is aristocratic.  Although joined by hints of mocha, grilled ciabatta and dried herbs,  the complexity isn’t boisterous at the moment and I sense there is more lurking beneath in this wine.  Maybe much more.  Moderate and mellow acids and tannins are well balanced and will easily allow this wine to age easily for 5-8 years.  As with many of Castello di Ama’s offerings, the price of admission isn’t cheap and that weakens the wines appeal somewhat.   87 points.  About $48.  Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ Haiku is a blend of 50% Sangiovese and approximately equal portions of Cabernet Franc and Merlot ~


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