Monday, July 13, 2009

Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005 DOCG

This is a very good wine from a region of Tuscany that is not quite as well known as some of its famous neighbors. Just about everyone is familiar with Chianti and Chianti Classico, and many are familiar with the region of Montalcino and their esteemed Brunellos. For reasons I can't quite figure out, the region of Montepulciano has neither the familiarity of Chianti among casual wine drinkers nor the status of Brunello di Montalcino among those who are a little more serious about their wine.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines are primarily Prugnolo Gentile, which is a clone of Sangiovese - the main grape in Chianti, Chianti Classico, and Brunello di Montalcino. The DOCG requires that all Vino Nobile must have at least 70% Prugnolo Gentile, and they also allow smaller percentages of Canaiolo Nero and other approved varieties. For those of you who want to know even more about Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, see this link:

This offering from Avignonesi is comprised of primarily Prugnolo Gentile with small amounts of Canaiolo Nero and Mammolino. The color is a medium red with a small hint of rust normally seen in older wines. With a swirl of the glass, you get beautiful black cherry aromas with a mild cinnamon accent, with much of the same on the palate. This is a beautiful expression of Tuscan wine and the Prugnolo/Sangiovese grape.

At a retail price in the mid $20s, you get quality that is similar to many Brunellos which retail for well over $50.

Enjoy this great Tuscan red with roasted meats, grilled game, or a great Parmiagiano Reggiano.

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