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The March 2023 Auction: Part 4

Auction # 755 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 3/23/2023 6:00:00 PM PST

Lot #825. Castello di Ama l'Apparita 1990

Description: Consists of 1 Bottle, 0.75L
Region: Italy, Tuscany.
Score: 97 AG.
"Exotic and beguiling, the 1990 L'Apparita is another of the many emotionally moving wines in this vertical. Mint, pine, licorice black cherries and sage some of the notes that are woven into a mosaic of notable class and elegance. Still rich and powerful, the 1990 has more than enough fruit to drink well for another decade, perhaps longer. I am amazed at how fresh and vibrant the 1990 remains, a true rarity among Tuscan wines from this precocious vintage. I have been lucky to have had many fabulous tastings at Castello di Ama over the years, but this was one of the most remarkable. L'Apparita, a 100% Merlot from high-altitude vineyards in Gaiole, gets less attention than some of its peers, but it is right up there with the very finest wines, not just of Italy, but of the world. Of course, tasting wines with perfect provenance is always a privilege and helps remove any variability that can result from less than perfect storage. Proprietors Marco Pallanti and Lorenza Sebaste are true visionaries. An approach built on painstaking attention to detail, along with an uncompromising commitment to quality and a willingness to take risks places them among the world's elite producers. Even from the very first vintages, the Castello di Ama have been stunning. Best of all, the Castello di Ama wines age extraordinarily well. This survey of fourteen vintages of L'Apparita shows that the Pallantis' intuition to graft Merlot onto existing Canaiolo and Malvasia Bianca rootstocks in 1982 and 1985 was spot on. One of the most fascinating aspects of vertical tastings is the ability to chart the development of a wine over several decades. The Merlot at Ama is usually harvested around the middle of September. Fermentations last between three to four weeks. In its first vintages, L'Apparita was aged in a high percentage of new French oak barrels, as was the custom for high-end wines in the mid 1980's. Since 2004, new oak has been around 50%, while time in barrel has progressively increased from about 12 months in the 1980s and 1990s to 18 months today. Toast levels have also generally come down. Where to start with this tasting that traces L'Apparita all the way back to the inaugural 1985? I love the 2004 and 2006, two wines that capture the personalities of those vintages; the 2004 silky and polished, the 2006 a total powerhouse. I also admire the 1997, a wine that remains incredibly youthful and primary. Today, it is drop-dead gorgeous. A trio of wines from the early 1990s is stellar. The 1992 is pure refinement, while the 1991 is the product of a very late harvest that stretched into October, and the 1990 an exotic wine from a legendary vintage that more than lives up to its reputation." Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, Mar 2017
Provenance: The Multitude Cellar
Notes: Mid shoulder, torn and heavily scuffed label.
Read about SWA's Six Point Inspection Process and how to read the condition notes.
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $180

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