Many great things are unplanned. My visit to Castello di Ama was a turning point in my understanding of Chianti and it nearly didn’t happen. We asked if Marco Pallanti, of di Ama, would like to join us on our free evening as a guest of the AWE to tell us about his wines. Low and behold, Senor Pallanti turned the invitation into us visiting him for a tour, tasting and dinner, all wonderful and memorable.
When we arrived Marco Pallanti immediately appeared interesting and vibrant, he reminded me of a young Picasso, indeed Marco has a passion for modern art.
We were treated to a tasting of their Chianti Classico 2003, 2001, 1999 and 1997. All were delicious, his 203 was one of only 2 from that vintage that I liked. His 2001 delivered a joyful balance of richness, spiciness and delicacy.
All were fine, but my star was the 1999, this had perfect balance of freshness and maturity, concentration and delicacy. It was beautiful wine, full of flavour, yet subtle. My notes mention the word “balanced” 8 times!
After this we enjoyed a stunning dinner. Simple sounding, “Tagliatelle al ragu” was perfect, flavoursome and comforting with their Chianti Classico 2002, it was firmer than the older wines, but beautifully balanced, ready enough to enjoy and lovely with the food.
Amazing roast pork and potatoes was partnered with the Chianti Classico Vigneto La Casuccia 2001, Sangiovese with 20% Merlot. This was very different, with more concentration and Merlot’s sweet fruit layering over the Sangiovese’s leafy spiciness, a wonderful wine.
The cheese course consisted of Pecorini at different stages of development from young and fresh to mature – all delicious though. This was partnered with L’Apparita 2000 their pure Merlot wine.
We finished with Schiacciata All’Uva, a cake containing Sangiovese grapes, and their Vinsanto 1999. Made from 70% Malvasia and 30% Trebbiano, it was deliciously clean and fresh, superbly balanced and lovely with the pudding.
I found this visit really exciting and learnt just how fine a wine Chianti Classico can be.