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Avignonesi, Da.Di Amphora, Tuscany 2018
Ashleigh Seymour and Matteo Giustiniani
100% Sangiovese, a vibrant and unvarnished taste of red fruit. Da-Di is bursting with the freshness and elegance typical of amphora-ageing. Medium body, sleek texture and mouth-watering red berries and cherries tantalise the senses, giving way to a soft spicy finish.
Da-Di is vinified in 12 terracotta vessels made in Tuscany – 6 were manufactured by Artenova in Impruneta, and 6 were manufactured by Laboratorio San Rocco in Torrita di Siena using clay from Mount Amiata. This wine is composed of one-third whole bunches and two-thirds whole berries. Fermentation takes place with indigenous yeast, followed by a daily manual punchdown schedule. Da-Di is blended after three months, then returned to the amphora for an additional two months’ ageing before bottling.
Founded in 1974, Avignonesi is the leading winery in the Montepulciano area of Tuscany. Its flagship wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is appreciated by critics and winelovers worldwide and the winery is also renowned worldwide for the unique dessert wines Vin Santo di Montepulciano and Occhio di Pernice. Avignonesi was purchased in 2009 by Virginie Saverys, who has brought significant changes to the winery. She has worked tirelessly to convert the entire property to organic and biodynamic viticulture, with the clear goal of crafting distinct, genuine wines that fully express the singular characteristics of the Avignonesi terroir. In 2015 Avignonesi received its organic certification and is currently waiting to obtain biodynamic certification as well. Today, Avignonesi owns 161 hectares/402 acres of vineyards spread out over the Montepulciano and Cortona appellations. All of its wines are produced with 100% estate grown grapes. Resident winemakers, Ashleigh Seymour and Matteo Giustiniani oversee production, and under Virginie's guidance, Avignonesi has developed a production philosophy based on balance, elegance, brightness of fruit and a strong sense of place. Virginie's appreciation for the malleability of Sangiovese has inspired her to produce a Vino Nobile that fully reveals the complexities of the appellation's key grape; Avignonesi Vino Nobile is in fact 100% Sangiovese, making this wine a true winelover's alternative to the more expensive neighboring Brunellos, both in terms of value and style. Along with Vino Nobile and the critically acclaimed Vin Santo wines, Avignonesi is also known for Desiderio Cortona DOC, a Merlot-dominated blend with an iconic white bull label. Other notable wines include Il Marzocco Chardonnay Cortona DOC; Vino Nobile's younger brother, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC; and the recently reintroduced Grifi Toscana IGT, a rich and suggestive blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pale crimson. Light nose and remarkably sweet on the palate for a Sangiovese. Was there some ripasso ingredient? Very appetising with a little grainy texture on the finish. The Sangiovese grapes seems to have been very ripe though; there is none of the agricultural tang one associates with Chianti Classico from possibly higher, cooler ground. Rather flattering and different. An interesting, textured wine that has nothing to do with most Tuscan Sangiovese. Well done for pushing the envelope!