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  Wine Producers Issue 51, April 2007   
AvignonesiAvignonesi  Contents 
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Avignonesi

Quality as the ultimate goal is the characteristic distinguishing this glorious winery, a result which is expressed in the magnificence of two extraordinary Vin Santo wines

 Being successful in achieving the right balance in respect of tradition, innovation, experimentation and quality, is not always easy. In particular when primary goal is quality, high quality, which therefore requires the revision of traditional concepts, by improving them with the support of modern concepts and the full respect for the nature of traditions themselves. However high quality is not a factor which originates by chance, it is the result of precise choices, the awareness this can be obtained only in case compromises are not accepted, a result requiring strictness and culture, in the awareness also time plays its essential role and that only determination in getting the best allows the understanding of this. These are the concepts and the atmosphere which can be breathed by visiting Fattoria Le Capezzine - the heart of the prestigious Avignonesi winery of Montepulciano - where each detail is scrupulously cared, from vineyard to bottle, without compromises and with the determination of getting the best possible quality.


Fattoria Le Capezzine: the heart of production
of Avignonesi winery
Fattoria Le Capezzine: the heart of production of Avignonesi winery

 Avignonesi winery has very ancient origins and there are no reliable information on when it was established. It can be supposed Avignonesi is one of the most ancient wineries of Italy, as its existence is documented even before the second half of sixteenth century, period during which was built Avignonesi palace of Montepulciano by the famous architect Jacopo Barozzi, also known as “il Vignola”. Worldwide prestige and notoriety of this Tuscan winery is the result of Ettore and Alberto Falvo brothers who in 1974, already proprietors of the Tenuta La Selva, decided to acquire Avignonesi winery by completely restoring it. Since those times their goal for quality was very clear and therefore began to invest on viticulture. A good wine - as it is known - is created in the vineyard first and in then in cellar. In the course of time, in Avignonesi's vineyards were introduced and selected varieties of French origin, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, as well as typical varieties of the area.

 Avignonesi is currently made of four productive units: Fattoria Le Capezzine, I Poggetti, Tenuta La Selva and La Lombarda, for a total of 225 hectares, of which 109 destined to the cultivation of vineyards and 3 to olive trees. The heart of Avignonesi winery is Fattoria Le Capezzine, which is located in Valiano - few kilometers from Montepulciano - in an estate of the 1800s. Here are found the vinification facilities, aging cellars, oil mill and the prestigious - as well as suggestive - vinsantaia, where hundreds of caratelli (small oak barrels) full of precious Vin Santo spend about ten years waiting the patient job of time to make them nectars of rare elegance. Vin Santo is in fact one of the most prestigious products of Avignonesi: not only an exclusive pride of this winery, but also a philosophy of life and a way to see wine, its culture and its tradition. And for Avignonesi Vin Santo is something to be made without compromises, by aiming to quality only and to keep the culture and tradition of this magnificent wine.


The suggestive Avignonesi's
vinsantaia where caratelli of precious Vin Santo ages for the ten years
The suggestive Avignonesi's vinsantaia where caratelli of precious Vin Santo ages for the ten years

 What represents Vin Santo for Avignonesi can be understood by listening to the genuine enthusiasm of Ettore Falvo when he talks about this magnificent wine produced in his winery. The same enthusiasm which can be perceived in the words of his daughter Elena when she tells the story of her family's Vin Santo, the heritage of caratelli - the small barrels in which Vin Santo is aged - passed by generations in generations. And for Avignonesi Vin Santo is something which is produced with genuine passion, something which can be understood in Ettore Falvo's words: «Vin Santo is not a way to increase profits or make money. It does not care how much time it is going to take, how much energy and money it is going to take. What really counts is quality only. The harder to reach, the higher the satisfaction and, usually, the better the result». For Avignonesi, a very important role is played by experimentation and the use of quality cultural techniques. It is the case of the vineyard cultivated with the “alberello” method and with vines planted in settonce pattern, in order to ensure a better development of roots and a better exposition to sun rays, as no plants is going to be covered by another, therefore ensuring a better ventilation.

 Also for experimental purposes, Avignonesi has created a special vineyard, called vigna tonda (round vineyard) because of the “radial” disposition of rows, in which is cultivated Prugnolo Gentile only - the main grape of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano - grafted to different rootstocks and with different densities. The purpose of this vineyard is to understand the influence both of density and rootstocks on the quality of grapes and, therefore, of wine. All this in order to improve Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, one of the most representative wines of Avignonesi - one of the many, to tell the truth - and which, in particularly favorable years, is produced in the excellent reserve style “Grandi Annate”, of which the last vintage was 1999 and the next one, of imminent release, will be 2003. Among the most representative products of Avignonesi are mentioned Cortona Chardonnay Il Marzocco, aged for 6 months in barrique, and Cortona Merlot Desiderio, aged for 12 months in barrique, in honor of “Desiderio”, a bull belonging to the “chianina” race which lived in Fattoria Le Capezzine in the second half of 1800s, depicted in the label of this excellent wine.


 

 And then the two Vin Santo wines, renowned and celebrated everywhere in the world for their indisputable quality. The first one of them is produced with Grechetto, Malvasia Toscana and Trebbiano Toscano, aged for ten years in the caratelli of vinsantaia and from the crushed skins is produced a grappa aged in barrique for at least three years. The second one is Vin Santo “Occhio di Pernice”, produced with Prugnolo Gentile grape, also in this case aged for ten years in caratelli: simply a monumental Vin Santo. The current production of Avignonesi is of about 700.000 bottles per year and wine production is led by the talented wine maker Paolo Trappolini. The job done by Avignonesi in the commercial and productive aspects has allowed the prestigious winery of Montepulciano to reach the highest appreciation all over the world: wine which does not only identify the Avignonesi style, but also the territory from which they are from. Avignonesi wines are mainly distributed in the United States of America, Italy, Germany and in more than 37 countries of the world, of which the main ones are Switzerland, Japan, Belgium and United Kingdom.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Cortona Chardonnay Il Marzocco 2004, Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Cortona Chardonnay Il Marzocco 2004
Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Chardonnay
Price: € 17.50 Score:
This Chardonnay shows a brilliant straw yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of banana, plum and apple followed by aromas of plum, vanilla, hazelnut, pineapple, hawthorn and beeswax. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of banana, plum and hazelnut. Cortona Chardonnay Il Marzocco ages for 6 months in barrique followed by 12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Mushrooms and fish soups, Roasted fish, Stuffed pasta with fish and crustaceans, Roasted white meat



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2004, Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2004
Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Prugnolo Gentile (80%), Canaiolo Nero (15%), Mammolo (5%)
Price: € 17.00 Score:
This Vino Nobile di Montepulciano shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, tobacco, licorice and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. This wine ages for 18 months in cask followed by 12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Cortona Merlot Desiderio 2004, Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Cortona Merlot Desiderio 2004
Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Merlot (85%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%)
Price: € 37.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Cortona Merlot Desiderio shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of black cherry, black currant and plum followed by aromas of blueberry, violet, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, sandal wood, cocoa, cinnamon and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, black currant and plum. A well made wine. Cortona Merlot Desiderio ages for 18 months in barrique followed by 12 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Game, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Grandi Annate 2003, Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Grandi Annate 2003
Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Prugnolo Gentile (85%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%)
Price: € 40.00 Score:
This Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of blackberry, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, blueberry, cyclamen, vanilla, tobacco, bergamot, carob, licorice and pink pepper. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, very agreeable. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of blackberry, raspberry and black cherry. A well made wine. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Grandi Annate ages for 24 months in cask followed by 24 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Vin Santo di Montepulciano 1995, Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Vin Santo di Montepulciano 1995
Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Grechetto, Malvasia Toscana, Trebbiano Toscano
Price: € 170.00 - 375ml Score: Wine that excels in its category
A wine of extraordinary magnificence. This Vin Santo di Montepulciano shows a pale mahogany color and nuances of amber yellow, little transparency. The nose reveals very intense, clean, pleasing, refined, elegant and virtually endless aromas of fig jam, raisin and honey followed by an impressive aromatic sequence of vanilla, date, tobacco, ginger, prune, almond, citrus fruit peel, nail polish, caramel, beeswax and coffee. The mouth has a perfect correspondence to the nose, a sweet and velvety attack, very smooth and thick, perfectly balanced by alcohol and a very pleasing crispness, full body, very intense flavors, of endless complexity and agreeability. The finish is very persistent, virtually endless, with very long and incredible flavors of fig jam, honey, prune, raisin and caramel. A wine of magnificent elegance, monumental. Vin Santo di Montepulciano is produced with grapes dried for 6 months and ages for 10 years in caratelli followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Meditation wine



Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice 1995, Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice 1995
Avignonesi (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Prugnolo Gentile
Price: € 200.00 - 375ml Score: Wine that excels in its category
A monumental wine, of extraordinary elegance and absolute magnificence. Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice shows a deep mahogany color and nuances of mahogany, impenetrable to light. The nose reveals very intense aromas, clean, pleasing, refined, elegant, incredibly endless and an impressive opening of plum jam, fig jam and black cherry jam followed by an extraordinary and precise aromatic sequence of blackberry jam, vanilla, tobacco, coffee, cinnamon, cinchona, caramel, orange marmalade, licorice, chocolate, honey, nail polish and rhubarb. The mouth has perfect correspondence to the nose, a velvety and sweet attack, very smooth and think, perfectly balanced by alcohol and by a very pleasing crispness, full body, very intense flavors, extraordinarily agreeable and complex. The finish is very persistent, virtually endless, with very long and endless flavors of blackberry jam, black cherry jam, plum jam, fig jam and honey. A wine of rare and magnificent class and elegance, of monumental and absolute excellence. Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice is produced with grapes dried for 6 months and ages for 10 years in caratelli followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Meditation wine



Avignonesi - Fattoria Le Capezzine - Via Colonica, 1 - 53045 Valiano di Montepulciano, Siena (Italy) - Tel. +39 578 724304 Fax: +39 578 724308 - Winemaker: Paolo Trappolini - Established: 1974 - Production: 700.000 bottles - E-Mail: capezzine@avignonesi.it - WEB: www.avignonesi.it



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  Wine Producers Issue 51, April 2007   
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