Home / Avignonesi, Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice 2001 | The Good Wine Shop
Avignonesi, Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice 2001
Ashleigh Seymour and Matteo Giustiniani�
Crafted from only the best Sangiovese grapes from our vineyards and dried for several months on reed mats in the appassitoio, the Occhio di Pernice ages for a decade and owes much of its special character to the madre, a century-old yeast, which is carefully protected by Avignonesi.
The grapes are laid out for a few months on straw mats in the �appassitoio� (drying room). They are then softly pressed and the must is transferred in �caratelli� (50-liter�oak casks) for a slow, natural fermentation with the aid of an indigenous yeast known as �madre� and aged for 10 years.
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.
Wine Advocate 100pts (2001) - This wine merits every one of these 100 points. The 2001 Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice (375 milliliters) is a singular work of art and a profound expression of Tuscany. I know Avignonesi owner Virginie Saverys would like to draw attention to the other wines in her portfolio, and she has every right to do so. But I just want to cry. When you have a wine as profound and perfect as this, everything else fades fast into the background. Virginie likes to say that Occhio di Pernice (made with red grapes) is the "male" and the Vin Santo di Montepulciano (made from white grapes) is the "female." This is a great observation. The bouquet here is smoky and savory, but brilliant and sophisticated at the same time. You get an infinite array of caramel, maple syrup, espresso bean, licorice and candied fruit aromas. There's so much dried fig as well. The concentration and thickness is out of this world. This wine is built like a tank and I'm not sure it will ever exit its drinking prime.