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Avignonesi Grandi Annate Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • WE90
14.5% ABV
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • WS93
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Medium ruby red color. The elegant bouquet opens with notes of wild roses, plums, and a variety of red fruits, underlined by intriguing scents of sandalwood, myrrh and delicate hints of cloves. The Grandi Annate 2012 is full-bodied yet delicate and round with a fresh acidity and a savoury finish that lingers on the palate.

Vino Nobile Grandi Annate is the finest expression of Sangiovese from Avignonesi's Montepulciano vineyards. This wine is produced only in the very best years, when the climate brings optimum growing conditions to the vines, permitting the grapes to express all the complexity of the terroir, leading to a wine that is rich in character with the stamina to age for many years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
You'll notice that this wine is no longer labeled "Riserva." Avignonesi wanted to reduce the time it spends in oak and made the name adjustment accordingly. This seems like a good idea to me. The 2012 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Grandi Annate gives new life to one of Tuscany's most historic wines. There is more elegance and finesse here. I must say that past vintages have been a disappointment, but this expression seems to break all ties with the past. Fruit is sourced primarily from the Banditella vineyard that tends to produce more austere and concentrated Sangiovese. Indeed, this wine is highly redolent of black fruit, tar, licorice and even a touch of white mushroom. Everyone loves a comeback story and that's what you get here.
JS 93
James Suckling
A chewy and silky wine with just ripe fruit, chocolate and hazelnut character. Fresh earth undertone too. Medium body, fresh finish. Drink now or hold.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Austere initially, with tightly wound and gruff tannins shoring up sweet black cherry, floral, earth, tar and eucalyptus notes. Elegant and long on the minerally finish, but needs time. Best from 2019 through 2030.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Ripe plum, coconut, vanilla and French oak aromas lead the nose. Youthfully assertive and austere, the palate offers toasted oak, licorice and espresso notes, set against a backdrop of bracing tannins that grip the finish. That structure should mellow and integrate with a few more years of bottle age.
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Avignonesi

Avignonesi

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Avignonesi, Tuscany, Italy
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In 1309 pope Clement V transferred the papal residence from Rome to Avignon, France. In 1377, when pope Gregory XI moved the papal residence back to Rome, some noble families of Avignon left France to follow him. It was at that time, in Italy, that one of those families became known as Avignonesi - probably to simplify an otherwise difficult, foreign name. Soon the Avignonesi family separated into three branches which settled in Rome, Siena and Montepulciano.

It is not known exactly when Avignonesi's cellars were built, but they are doubtless among the most ancient in Italy. Palazzo Avignonesi was built according to a design by Jacopo Barozzi (called Vignola) in the second half of the XVI century and it has always been the cellars' seat.

In 1974 the Falvo brothers, owners of the vineyards in the municipality of Cortona, took over Avignonesi and refounded it investing greatly in viniculture, selecting the local varieties and introducing classical ones such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir. Nowadays, Avignonesi consists of four wine-producing estates: Le Capezzine, I Poggetti, La Selva and La Lombarda. In total they comprise 218 hectares of open ground, 103 ha of vineyards and 7 ha of olive groves.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the king of the best red wines in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino

Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

STC342815_2012 Item# 355656