Avignonesi’s 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (93 Points: Wine Enthusiast) is this legendary estate’s finest effort in a decade. Aromatic, elegant, and impeccably balanced, the 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano reveals its noble bearing from the moment it is poured. This four-variety blend (Prugnolo Gentile, Canaiolo, Mammolo, Merlot) sports a deep ruby robe and amplifying aromatics redolent with the scents of black cherry, violets, fresh unsmoked tobacco, and subtle hints of spice and forest woodlands born of Vino Nobile’s noble terroir. In the mouth, the 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile unfolds gracefully, revealing an elegant mélange of wild cherry, raspberry, violet, and star anise flavors, all wrapped in juicy, ripe tannins that impeccably frame the wine. Great balance and precision prevail throughout, making this wine a pleasure to drink now and simultaneously promising a long life and additional pleasure with further cellaring. For optimal enjoyment we suggest thirty minutes or more of aeration before consuming at 58°-62° F. Affording exceptional Tuscan reds such as the 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile time to breathe and unfold gracefully in the glass is essential to capturing all that a true noble wine such as the 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has to offer. Anticipated maturity: 2021-2026. Enjoy!
Vino Nobile is one of Tuscany’s gastronomic treasures, and Avignonesi’s 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano makes an impeccable dinner companion. Its presence at table signals elegance, refinement, and good taste. With this in mind, Avignonesi’s Vino Nobile deserves to be paired with the highest quality ingredients worthy of its noble stature. Grilled meats top Tuscany’s list of choices to serve with the region’s noblest red wines. Beef, lamb, quail, and squab are perennial favorites. Rotisserie chicken, basted with butter, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary, offers simple but superb companionship to Avignonesi’s delightful 2016 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Lamb ragout with mushrooms, red peppers, and onions, served over braised greens and oven roasted potatoes, provides another tasty treat. Ragout of wild boar offers yet another tasty companion as does roast loin of pork with an herb and black olive paste. Traditional Tuscan bean and lentil dishes, with or without sausage or cured ham, provide additional complements, while roasted wild mushrooms over polenta or tagliatelle pasta with black truffle shavings and olive oil will provide a special vegetarian companion to the regal 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile. Buon Appetito!
Avignonesi is one of the oldest and most respected names in Tuscany. From the winery’s original homestead named Le Capezzine, located just a few kilometers outside of the venerable hill town of Montepulciano, Avignonesi has flourished. It now includes four wine producing estates: Le Capezzine, I Poggetti, La Selva, and La Lombarda that together comprise nearly 240 acres of vines.
Each of Avignonesi’s four Tuscan farms specializes in growing different classic and indigenous grape varietals. Given Avignonesi’s ties to Montepulciano, it is not surprising that the estate’s two oldest properties, Le Capezzine and I Poggetti, specialize in Tuscany’s indigenous varietals: Prugnolo Gentile (Montepulciano’s unique clone of Sangiovese), Mammolo, and Canaiolo. These three indigenous grape varieties are responsible for the region’s noble red wine, known simply as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Small amounts of Merlot are also permitted. It is Vino Nobile that first established Avignonesi’s international reputation for quality, and Avignonesi’s “noble” red wine remains the benchmark by which other Vino Nobiles are measured. Among connoisseurs, Avignonesi is also regarded as the greatest producer of Vin Santo, the special Tuscan dessert wine that is aged for a decade or more before release. Avignonesi fashions delicious Rosso Toscana, too, a wine that combines the indigenous Prugnolo Gentile with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the estate’s La Selva property.
Sangiovese (literally translated as Blood of Jove) is the principal grape of Tuscany. It is the lifeblood of Chianti and Vino Nobile (in Vino Nobile only the Prugnolo Gentile clone of Sangiovese is permitted) and the sole constituent of Tuscany’s most illustrious wine, Brunello di Montalcino. It also serves as the backbone of many Super Tuscan blends. And, despite its importance and proliferation throughout Tuscany and Central Italy, Sangiovese is a difficult grape to cultivate and master. It is notoriously slow growing and slow to ripen. Moreover, it is thin skinned and prone to high acidity, which under ideal conditions produces wines with delicious fruit and excellent structure, many of which can age for a decade or more. However, Sangiovese is not meant only for collectibles; the grape’s light fruit and bright acidity also lend themselves to excellent everyday wines meant for the weekday dinner table. Sangiovese’s natural acidity makes it an ideal varietal for California, particularly Amador and Napa counties, and a natural accompaniment to meat, pastas and cheeses.
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