Author: Nik Rasula

About the Confusion: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (VNdM) is wine made from the Prugnolo Gentile grape (a Sangiovese clone) in the delineated Montpulciano area of Southeast Tuscany (mid-boot left). It is often mistaken for another Italian red, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (MdA), a wine made from the Montepulciano grape, of the Abruzzo region (mid-boot right). MdA is held to neither of the former’s exacting requirements or standards. But, is there any wonder there’s confusion?

About the Maker: Reinventing as a winemaking entrepreneur, prominent Belgian lawyer Virginie Saverys purchased Avignonesi in 2009. Providing fresh outlook, international focus and earth-friendly vision, she began transforming operations to appeal to 21st century consumers; instituting vegan, organic and biodynamic practices.

About DOCG: Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, is the highest designation under Italian law. DOCG specifies considerations such as area of production, permitted varietals, alcohol range, colour, vine density/yield, and production techniques. It typically denotes Italy’s top wine regions (Super-Tuscany notwithstanding).

About Renewal: Recognizing issues from decades of neglect to the once platinum “Noble Wine of Montepulciano,” Saverys joined with other top-end Montepulciano producers to form Alliance Vinum (thealliance.wine). Its raison d’etre; to restore lustre to the VNdM trademark through practices based on quality, sustainability and integrity.

About Terroir: Sixty-km southeast of Siena, Montepulciano DOCG comprises 1,300 hectares of hilly terrain around Tuscany’s Chiana Valley. Soils of sand and clay combine with the moderating influences (breezes/hydrating fogs) of Lake Trasimeno, adding specific considerations to the area’s Warm Continental climate.

About the Wine: Pale ruby-red in-glass, aromas of rosehip, spice box and red currant impress the olfactory senses. The luscious, lighter-bodied mouth features cleansing Bing cherry, raspberry and red currant highlights. The finish is long and impressive, a testament to ageing 18-months in fine Slavonian oak. Decanting one-hour allows Avignonesi VNdM to open and fully express.

About Pairing: Tuscan Pecorino formaggio, spicy Asian, Ragu pasta, stewed lamb

About Sustainability: Certified Vegan and Organic by the EU. In Biodynamic conversion.

About Alcohol Level: 13.5% abv

About Availability: Check liquorconnect.com (call the listed store too) confirming availability. CSPC #413278