Castello di Ama - Looking Back at the 2006s


I vividly remember the first time I truly fell in love with Castello di Ama wines. It was 2009. After we had gone through the releases, Lorenza Sebasti and Marco Pallanti opened a few older wines. It was at that moment that I started to understand how well these wines can age. In the years that followed, I had the good fortune to report on several verticals.

Sebasti and Pallanti surprised me with the 2006s on my most recent visit. Pallanti describes 2006 as a relatively cool year compared to 2020, which we tasted just prior. “Spring was quite fresh, so the vines got off to a late start,” Pallanti explained. “Summer turned very hot, but rains in August helped re-establish balance in the vineyard.” I could not help thinking how much the definition of what constitutes cool and hot seasons has evolved over the last fifteen years. When these wines were made, 2006 was considered a hot year, but today, it would be thought of as a cool vintage.

As for the wines, they have aged so gracefully. The 2006s here are potent, structured reds for the cellar. This was an impressive showing all around.

The 2006 Chianti Classico Castello di Ama is just starting to show the first signs of aromatic maturity. Even so, it remains quite youthful. Scents of sweet tobacco, leather, licorice, cured meats and dried herbs are so suggestive. I expect the 2006 will continue to drink well for another decade, maybe more, given its depth. The blend is 80% Sangiovese and 20% Malvasia Nera, Merlot and Canaiolo. 92/Drink 2024-2036.

Explosive and potent, the 2006 Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia certainly makes an impression. At nearly twenty years of age, it remains vibrant and even a bit austere. Red cherry/plum fruit, blood orange, spice and tobacco lend nuance, but I am most drawn to the wine's energy. The 2006 is showing so well today. 96/Drink 2024-2036.

The 2006 Chianti Classico Vigneto Bellavista is magnificent. Graphite, juniper berries, savory herbs and tobacco give this dark, somber Chianti Classico tons of character. The blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Malvasia Nera is so compelling. Although it is nearly twenty years old, the 2006 remains so youthful. Today, it is utterly captivating and still improving. 97/Drink 2024-2036.

The 2006 L'Apparita is 100% Merlot, but in this vintage, it tastes more like a wine from Castello di Ama than anything else. Dark, intensely savory and super-expressive, the 2006 is a towering, statuesque wine. It is also incredibly young and full of life. Readers still cellaring it are in for a real treat. 98/Drink 2024-2036.

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