Bottle of The Week- Castello di ama San Lorenzo Chianti Classico 2010

Instead of my usual Wednesday Bottle of the Week I figured I would do a throwback, all the way back to my Tuscan adventure. It has been three months and I still haven’t run out of wine from our trip to Italy to write about (we drank a lot of wine while we were there)! Surprise, it’s another Chianti. We had the Castello Di Am San Lorenzo Chianti Classico at Osteria la Logge in Siena, recommended to us by the winemaker at Montechiaro winery. La Logge has the vibe of an old Tuscan home turned restaurant, with a small winding staircase leading up to one of the dining rooms, where we were seated. Yet, it maintains a more modern feel by having the kitchen open for all to see not only when you first walk into the restaurant, but also if you happen to be walking by on the street. The ambiance is charming and the risotto is to DIE for.

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Gaiole in Chianti, the area from which this wine hails, is arguably the most famous Chianti producing area. It is, after all, where Chianti was invented, at Castello Di Brolio. The original formulation for Chianti was established in 1872 by Barone Bettino Ricasoli as 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 15% Malvasia. Obviously wine, like anything else, changes with the times, and now a Chianti Classico is typically anywhere from 80%-100% Sangiovese with up to 10% Canaiolo and other approved grapes like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah.

The Castello di Ama San Lorenzo is a little bit of a throwback itself with a blend of 80% Sangiovese, with the remaining 20% made up of Malvasia Nera and Merlot. The Malvasia Nera grape is a gem of which I wish we saw more, as it adds a lovely rich color and nice aromas to the wine. This particular bottle has a full nose of red berries, the flavors of ripe red fruits, typical of Chianti, blend well with the spicy undertones, which are complemented by the grippy yet elegant tannins. This is a wonderful example of a Chianti, and at around $45-50 a bottle it is as good as you’d expect. I would rate this wine a 9.3, only because you can also get some pretty good Chiantis for about half the price, but when in Rome… or Tuscany.


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