If you love Sangiovese, you will want to know more about Avignonesi. Avignonesi is in the Montepulciano region of Tuscany, home to Italy’s first DOCG red wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Vino Nobile — the noble wine from Montepulciano — was one of Italy’s most esteemed wines for centuries. However, in recent years, interest has waned. But vineyards like Avignonesi are trying to restore the wine’s reputation, while working to build a more sustainable and safer environment for wine production in Italy.
Avignonesi is a member of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is dedicated to promoting the image of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano throughout Italy and the world. We recently tasted four small samples of Avignonesi Sangiovese, which are all available in the U.S. Read on for details.
Named after the original founders of the estate, the Avignonesi family, Virginie Saverys acquired the winery in the Montepulciano region of Tuscany in 2009. She also purchased additional vineyards and a state-of-the-art winemaking facility in Montepulciano. Avignonesi started producing and crafting organic wines with the biodynamic approach of minimal intervention in the cellar. As a result, Saverys and her team made the winery a leader in biodynamic viticulture in Italy.
Our four samples comprised a Sangiovese-only tasting of Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2016, in addition to Avignonesi Poggetto di Sopra Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2018, In Grandi Annate Sangiovese Toscana IGT 2016, and Da-Di Sangiovese Toscana IGT 2021. All four of them are available to purchase in the U.S.
Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2016 ($26)
2016 Vino Nobile comprises 100% Sangiovese, approachable now but with aging potential. The balanced weather conditions of this vintage resulted in a powerful and harmonious wine. On the nose, we found aromas of fresh, red berries, sweet spices and Mediterranean herbs. On the palate, more red berries, cherries, plums, mint, orange zest, cocoa and bright acidity. The 2018 vintage is also available.
Poggetto Di Sopra Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2018 ($75)
Six Nobile producers – Avignonesi, Salcheto, Poliziano, La Braccesca, Dei, and Boscarelli – coordinated their creation of this wine, based on the dedication to Nobile’s rediscovery. They sourced the grapes from the Caprile vineyard, with two soil types. One features more silt and limestone with alkaline pH and low in organic matter. The other one contains a mix of sand and clay-limestone. The price is also considerably higher for this elegant, distinctive, graceful and memorable100% Sangiovese. Aromas of red fruit, lavender, chocolate and mint lead into flavors of more red fruit, coconut and cinnamon.
In Grandi Annate Sangiovese Toscana IGT 2016 ($85)
Avignonesi only produces In Grandi Annate during the best vintages, when climate and growing conditions are superb. Therefore, this is their finest Sangiovese, with a goal to highlight the wonderful traits of the grape from Tuscany. Put this six-year-old wine in the cellar for a few more years and watch the flavors evolve. But decant it, if you want to serve it now. On the nose, aromas of strawberries and cassis entice, while rich flavors of cherries, berries, citrus, licorice, and creamy vanilla pervade. This is one smooth, structured, powerful and intense wine. Not surprisingly, it is our favorite.
Da-Di Sangiovese Rosso Toscana IGT 2021 ($22)
Da-Di features 100% Tuscan Sangiovese, vinified in amphora clay vessels made in Tuscany. Chinese for “earth, soil”, the name Da-Di was chosen to underline this separation from oak and steel used in other wines. What a pretty nose! Aromas of cherries and raspberries mirror the palate. As well, the finish combines freshness and sweetness unique to the terracotta vessels. What a fun wine.
In conclusion, Avignonesi produces stunning DOCG Sangiovese and special IGT wines. We highly recommend tasting these beauties. There is a reason why Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG is one of Italy’s most esteemed wines. And the other incredible wines we tasted from Avignonesi’s portfolio are also very impressive. As mentioned, you can find all four of these in the U.S.
Margot and Dave