All leading critics have now confirmed the 2013 vintage in Tuscany to be exceptional. Antonio Galloni is the most rigorous marker – when he can be inspired to taste and not just create virtual maps – meaning his endorsement speaks volumes. He has recently released his 2013 Chianti report, with many wines receiving their highest score ever. The real star of the show is the stunning L’Apparita from Castello di Ama, which has received an incredible 98 points. L’Apparita has the distinction of being Tuscany’s first Super Tuscan single varietal Merlot. It was first produced in 1985 as a ‘vino de tavola’ and is considered today as one of Italy’s foremost ground-breaking wines.
We are delighted to be able to offer it today for £495 in bond per case of six bottles, a superb entry point, a 12% discount to the lowest price in the market. Today’s release price also offers a discount to similar scoring older vintages, the equal scoring 2006 trades at £820 today. L’Apparita displays superb vintage premium, as demonstrated by the table below and due to its complexity and longevity it presents a very exciting opportunity for investment over the next ten years.
It also offers superb value against its monovarietal Tuscan Merlot peers. Masseto 2013 was awarded 95-97 from the Wine Advocate this year and costs £2,400 per case of six, while Redigaffi was awarded 94 points from Galloni and costs £680. Masseto and Redigaffi also have larger production, the former producing 2,500 cases a year, the latter 700 cases. L’Apparita produces only 500 cases a year, making it extremely hard to source in older vintages and on release. Their commitment to quality is astounding, refusing to produce any wine at all in the difficult 2012 vintage, when uneven conditions would have resulted in a less-than-outstanding wine.
A brief history of the estate
Vines have been grown and wines have been made in the valleys surrounding Castello di Ama for five centuries. In the 18th Century, the Grand Duke of Tuscany Peter Leopold of Hapsburg-Lorraine praised the producers there, as well as the stunning countryside, proclaiming that ‘the hills and valleys surrounding il Castello di Ama are the most beautiful in all of Chianti, superbly tended with magnificent vineyards’. The modern Castello di Ama winery was founded in 1970s by a group of families who came together to restore Ama to the splendour and glory it once enjoyed. In 2005 Castello di Ama was named Winery of the Year by Italy’s most authoritative wine guide, the Gambero Rosso, and their San Lorenzo Chianti Classico, was ranked 6th in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 in 2010.
Castello di Ama holds around 80 hectares of vines, between 450 and 550m above sea level among the rolling hills of Chianti, in the Gaiole-in-Chianti subzone. The vineyards are subdivided into four zones, known by their local names, from which the cantina produces its Chianti Classico: Bellavista, San Lorenzo, La Casuccia and Montebuoni. The Merlot vines for L’Apparita make up just 3.84 hectares, perched on the Bellavista hill, with a stony chalk-clay soil. At 500 metres, it performs best in warm vintages, such as 2013, where the altitude bequeaths it true elegance and finesse, underlying the dark, intense fruit.
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