Avignonesi, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2014 (about $27)

Italian Wine for december, 2018

The Avignonesi winery is located just a short distance east of the scenic town of Montepulciano on the road to Cortona. The winery is named after a noble family that was the original owner of the estate. While no exact date has been determined for when the family started the winery, it was centuries ago and the winery is generally regarded as one of the oldest in the area. Its long history as well as its dedicated and earnest approach to winemaking has earned the winery a well-deserved reputation as one of Tuscany’s flagship producers.

In 2009, the estate was acquired by the Belgium-born Virginie Saverys who implemented a substantial makeover of the winery and its operations. She acquired additional vineyards in the Montepulciano-Cortona corridor and upgraded the estate’s winemaking and cellaring facilities. Significantly, she promoted organic and sustainable farming methods and subsequently began implementing biodynamic principles to all of the estate’s 500 acres of vineyards. The estate is now certified organic and expects to be fully certified biodynamic in the near future.

Although the Avignonesi portfolio includes some highly-regarded Super-Tuscan wines as well as a much-sought-after, award-winning Vin Santo, the primary focus of the estate today, as in past years, is on production of distinctive Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines.

2014 was generally a difficult vintage in Tuscany. The growing s2014 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano from the Avignonesi wineryeason was marked by a cold, wet and generally dismal summer but was saved by warm, dry weather in late-summer and early fall. However, these erratic conditions resulted in uneven grape ripening that required several passes in harvesting the grapes so the harvest season extended from mid-September to mid-October.

Avignonesi’s Vino Nobile is made entirely of Sangiovese grapes sourced from estate vineyards in the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG appellation. Natural yeasts were used to initiate the fermentation and the grapes were fermented on the skins for 20 to 30 days depending on the individual grape batches. The wine was then aged for 18 months in oak barrels and received some additional ageing in the bottle prior to release for sale.

The bouquet of the 2014 Vino Nobile is marked with complex and finely-etched scents of ripe cherries and red currants that segue into an underlying core of fruit-driven flavors sculpted with an intriguing herbal complexity. It is medium-bodied with good acidity and soft tannins that elicit an enticing mouthfeel with a supple, caressing texture. It is a well-made, elegant wine with nothing over-ripe or accentuated, just an exceptional balance of fruit, acidity and tannins that culminate with a long and easy-to-appreciate stylish finish.

It is a lot of wine for a very modest price and is versatile enough for thoughtful solo sipping or as a companion for any gathering where grilled or roasted red meats are on the menu.


©Richard Marcis
December 11, 2018

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