The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 38 of 148

38 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 38 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 { tasting dinners } THE BEST OF CHIANTI CLASSICO, central Tuscany's longstand- ing powerhouse winemaking region, was on display recently when Chef Mario Batali and Castello di Ama's Lorenza Sebasti-Pellanti hosted a dinner at Chef Batali's New York temple of Italian cuisine, Del Posto. As was fitting for any dinner in a temple, this one fea - tured only wine poured from magnums, all hand-carried from Italy by the winery's owner. Since its founding in 1970s, Castello di Ama has become one of Chianti Classico's most intriguing and lauded wineries, with Sebasti-Pellanti and winemaker/husband Marco Pellanti creating not only an unwavering track record for producing some of the region's best wines, but also for keeping the winery's mission true to its original philosophy of producing only wines from estate-grown fruit. "For us, estate fruit is the most impor - tant thing," said Sebasti-Pellanti at the dinner. "The property is such a special place and pro- duces such a pure expression of Sangiovese from this region." The property, located in Gaiole in Chianti, in the heart of the Chianti region, is widely considered to be one of the area's most beautiful, and produces wine from 185 acres of vineyards divvied into four distinct plots— Bellavista, San Lorenzo, Montebuoni and La Casuccia—each of which brings its particular traits to the various blends and single- vineyard expressions made by Pellanti. "I have been a friend to Lorenza and a fan of her wines for many years," said Chef Batali, while speaking to the gathered guests between trips to the kitchen to plate each of the four courses created by Del Posto Executive Chef Melissa Rodriguez. "To me, Castello di Ama is one of the great Chianti Classico producers, and unable to visit her on my last trip to Tuscany, I made it a priority bring her here for a Dinner. I hope you enjoy." Jeff Porter, Wine Director for B&B Restaurant Group, which owns Del Posto, orchestrated pouring the large-format bottles and also discussed the attributes of each wine, while giving the guests his own thoughts on the Chianti Classico region. "I truly feel that Chianti Classico is one of the world's greatest terroirs," said Porter, "and Sangiovese is one of the world's great grape varieties. Castello di Ama puts all of this together in one bottle." Castello di Ama is imported by The Sorting Table. Bringing Chianti to New York MARIO BATALI PRESENTS DINNER WITH CASTELLO DI AMA story by David Ransom At Del Posto in New York City (left toright): Jeff Porter, Wine Director for B&B Restaurant Group; Chef Mario Batali (in his trademark cargo shorts); and Castello di Ama's Lorenza Sebasti-Pellanti. PHOTO: DAVID RANSOM PHOTO: DAVID RANSOM Castello di Ama is in Gaiole in Chianti, in the heart of the Chianti region. PHOTO COURTESY OF CASTELLO DI AMA The wines, poured from magnums, represented various vintages of Castello di Ama's blends and single-vineyard expressions.

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