A rich and polished effort with complex and layeredaromas of black cherries, raspberries and tea leaves, with a core of vanilla, roasted almonds, tobacco and savory herbs. Juicy but firm tannins are lifted by balanced acidity.
Wine Spectator 91 points - Oaky, lending a resinous cast to the black cherry, strawberry, spice and camphor flavors. The wood integrates with aeration, but the dense structure and sweet fruit accents on the finish need time to mesh. Sangiovese and Merlot. Drink now through 2020. 1,650 cases made. –BS
(Sep 30 2013)
Avignonesi is one of the oldest wineries in Italy. Like many historic estates, the origins of this emblematic winery parallel the movements of the Catholic Church. In 1377, when Pope Gregory XI moved the papal residence from Avignon, France back to Rome, one of the noble families who followed him to Italy eventually settled in Montepulciano, Tuscany and founded Avignonesi. Although it’s not quite clear when the family built the cellars, they are the foundation for Palazzo Avignonesi which was built in the mid-16th century. The recent renaissance of Avignonesi coincides with two milestones. When the Falvo brothers bought the property in 1974, they not only invested in much needed repairs, but also redirected monies to improving viticulture and promoting indigenous varieties. In 2009, when Belgian businesswoman and minority stakeholder Virginie Saverys gained full control of the property, she immediately instigated a detailed geographical study of the property to discover the potential of this terroir. The results revealed previously unknown and important facts regarding soil diversity. Armed with this knowledge, Virginie and her team evaluated the unique characteristics of each parcel to determine the most suitable farming, vinification, pruning and planting methods. Under the watchful stewardship of the winemaking team, all 345 acres are hand-picked and farmed organically. The estate has applied for official certification. Today Avignonesi owns seven different properties, all of which sit at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. The largest holding, Le Capezzine, is divided into four parcels – La Stella, La Verginie, Vigna Sperimentale and the iconic Vigna Tonda (round vineyard). Other parcels in the Montepulciano area include El Grasso, Banditella, La Bodelle and I Pogetti which provide the grapes for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The La Selva and La Lombarda parcels are located in Cortona and planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The impact of origin in the creation of flavor is a fundamental premise to the minimalist winemaking philosophy at Avignonesi. Just as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vin Santo are considered benchmarks for their categories so are the efforts of Virginie and her team as they strive to produce wines that offer authentic and inimitable expressions of terroir, vintage and variety.
|(50% Merlot /50% Sangiovese). The Merlot was harvested from Avignonesi’s La Selva parcel and the Sangiovese from the Capannelle estate. The 10-30 year old vines face south/southwest and are planted on clay, sand and limestone soils. The grapes were vinified separately and macerated on their skins for 20-25 days in oak. After aging for 12 months in new French barriques, the Merlot was blended with Sangiovese and the wine matured for an additional 24 months in new oak.