Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo di Montepulciano (375ML half-bottle) 1993
The estate, which bears the name of a noble family from Montepulciano, was taken over in 2009 by the Belgian Virginie Saverys. In a decade, under her leadership, Avignonesi has become the largest regenerative wine estate in Italy. Out of respect for workers, consumers and the environment, Virginie Saverys has banned highly toxic synthetic biocides - alas too widespread in the wine world - which poison populations, soils, air and water. Concurrently, the cellar has forbidden the use of yeasts, dyes, enzymes, tannins and other industrial biochemical adjuvants. Finally, Avignonesi is vigorously pursuing an energy transition policy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions drastically.
Convinced that there are no great wines without good grapes, Virginie focused her efforts on rehabilitating viticulture while giving the cellar a more supervisory role than interventionist.
Beyond giving back his rights to nature, Avignonesi also fosters the authenticity of its products. Virginie Saverys and her team have developed a modern style of wine refreshing, fruit-driven where elegance prevails. In short, wines that are a pleasure to drink.
The Avignonesi owns about 444 acres of vineyards fully certified organic and biodynamic. All wines are vegan and are made exclusively with grapes cultivated on the estate.
Based on the Sangiovese grape (here called Prugnolo Gentile), the village’s prized wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ranks stylistically in between Chianti Classico, for its finesse, and Brunello di Montalcino for its power. With a deep ruby color, heavy concentration and a firm structure given by the village's heavy, cool clay soils, most Vino Nobile di Montepulciano will demand some bottle age.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.