Since 1974, Avignonesi has been an iconic producer from Montepulciano and the surrounding environs. Named after a member of the founding family, the estate was purchased in 2009 by the Belgian born Virginie Saverys after two years as a silent, minority owner. Since taking over at Avignonesi, Saverys has worked tirelessly to transform the estate based on her vision. Vineyard sites have been expanded and the estate is now certified biodynamic and organic. Saverys is adamant about leaving the vines and soil in better condition for the benefit of future generations. In fact, she considers it her duty.
All this time, passion and investment are paying dividends. I don’t think the wines from Avignonesi have ever been better than they are today. In addition to the many vineyard holdings in Montepulciano, Avignonesi also grows Merlot from vineyards in nearby Cortona. Today, we’re looking at their mono-varietal Merlot from those lands.
Faithful readers know that I have a soft spot for Tuscan Merlot. There’s something about the grape and the Tuscan terroir that I love. So, fair disclosure. I’ve written about Avignonesi’s wonderful Merlot in the past, and it keeps impressing me.
Desiderio was first created in 1988. The wine takes it’s name from a prized Chianina bull that belonged to the estate’s original owner when it was a working farm in the second half of the 19th century. The bull graces the wine’s label.
The 2010 Desiderio is 100% Merlot from the Le Capezzine property in Cortona. In the glass, the wine is a deep purple color with only the slightest fade at the rim of the bowl. Aromas are plentiful and offer fresh herbs, lavender, black plum and menthol notes. On the palate, the wine displays the meatier side of Merlot; with crushed black plums, mint, coffee and spice notes. It’s got more structure than you might expect and quite a bit of “grip” to the tannins. Can easily benefit from 3-5 years in the cellar but with short ribs, it was delicious and velvety right now. 93 points. SRP $50-$60.
|~ From Avignonesi’s Property in Cortona comes this pure Merlot ~