This full-bodied, thick like molasses, amber colored dessert wine displays a mix of smoke-tinged raisins, dried figs and red fruit with hints of caramel and spiced apple. Immensely rich yet vibrant, the flavors and aromas grow and persist on the expressive and long finish.
Wine Spectator 97 points - Only Eszencia and PX Sherry have this kind of viscosity, making this one of dessert wine’s unique treasures. Thick, palate-coating and packed with dried fig, treacle, caramel and licorice flavors, this is broken down eventually by its intense acidity, leaving a licorice and molasses aftertaste. Drink now through 2020. From Italy.—B.S. (Dec 14 2011)
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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.
100% Prugnolo Gentile). The grapes were selected from 10-35 year old vines planted in the deep, calcareous, clay and sandy soils of Le Capezzine. Over the next six months, the fruit slowly dehydrated in the appassitoio (a large, dark, airy loft) on straw mats. The desiccated grapes were pressed and the must naturally fermented in caratelli – 50 liter Slavonian oak casks. The caratelli are filled to 9/10 of their volume with 43 liters of must, and two liters of mother – an old, indigenous yeast, unique to Avignonesi, which thrives in the must’s high sugar content. Following fermentation, each caratelli was sealed with wax and the wine aged for 10 years.
Established in the mid-16th century, Avignonesi is one of the oldest wineries in Italy. Like many other noble estates, its early history paralleled the movements of the Catholic Church. When Pope Gregory XI moved the papal residence from France to Italy in 1377, one of the families who followed him eventually settled in Montepulciano, Tuscany and founded Avignonesi.
More recently, two other families have driven the renaissance of this venerable brand. In 1974, when the Falvo brothers bought the property, they significantly invested in viticulture, in particular the development and promotion of indigenous varietals. After minority stakeholder Virginie Saverys gained full control of the estate in 2009, she began two long-term projects. The first was to introduce organic farming and viticulture practices. As of 2012, the estate is fully organic and has applied for certification. She also partnered with the University of Bordeaux to conduct a detailed topography and soil analysis, the results of which are used to customize pruning, planting and vinification decisions for each parcel.
Avignonesi owns 345 acres, which are divided into seven different properties and are situated at nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. The largest holding, Le Capezzine is comprised of a traditional vinsantaia and four different plots, (I Poggetti, Le Badelle, El Grasso and Banditella vineyards) which provide the grapes for the 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. Under the watchful stewardship of the winemaking team, the vineyards are farmed organically and all of Avignonesi’s wines are made using estate fruit.
The impact of origin in the creation of flavor is a driving premise behind the minimalist winemaking philosophy at Avignonesi. Just as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vin Santo are considered benchmarks for its category 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 varietal.