Castello di Ama L'Apparita 2016
Castello di Ama sits 12 miles northeast of Siena in the hills of Gaiole. This is the heart of Chianti Classico, a bucolic rolling landscape of woods, vineyards and olive groves. The property is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Marco Pallanti and Lorenza Sebasti. Over the last quarter century they have replanted all of the vineyards and upgraded all of the winemaking capabilities to make this one of Tuscany’s showcase producers.
L’Apparita was Tuscany’s first pure Merlot and has been a cult wine since its very first vintage in 1985.The small parcels that make up the 3.84 hectares of the L’Apparita vineyard are set atop the Vigneto Bellavista hill, at an altitude of 490 metres. In 1975 they were planted with Canaiolo and Malvasia Bianca, then grafted over with Merlot clone 342 between 1982 and 1985.The vines are trained as open lyre and the soil is clay rich, making this tiny cru a jewel of the international wine production.
VM100: The 2016 L'Apparita, 100% Merlot, is a breathtaking, riveting wine that captures all the potential of the vintage. In this vintage, L'Apparita is especially silky and refined. Layered, perfumed and wonderfully nuanced, L'Apparita is simply epic. Lavender, mint, sage, spice, new leather and cloves develop with time, but more than anything else, L'Apparita is wonderfully complete and magnificently beautiful.
WA99: The 2016 L’Apparita is a standout wine. A true symbol of the vintage, the wine shows the classic lines and extreme precision we can expect from 2016, with the plump, ripe generosity of the Merlot grape (when farmed in the right hands of course). The wine is profound, rich and beautifully concentrated with power but no residual heaviness. I went back to this sample a few times in the 12 hours after I popped the cork, and the wine was more beautiful each time. It offers a profound sense of beauty, harmony and Merlot purity now, and it should evolve slowly and softly in the coming years.