Saturday, January 7, 2012

My happy place

  Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva "Grandi Annate" 2006

     An aromatic beauty. The one wine I've felt like going to every person in the restaurant, putting the glass to their nose, "Ever thought a wine could do that?"

     Picture sitting in a rose garden, at dusk say, when the flowers are rocking their full perfume. From a kitchen window someone is cooking cranberry sauce, with the scent of cloves, nutmeg and orange peel gently intermingling with that thick rose fragrance. 

     A 91 for the '06 vintage according the Spectator, showing again how point scores are lacking. How do you quantify the "it" factor? I like the story my vendor told about this wine- upon opening it at a dinner party one night "everyone got really quiet." 

     Or at a recent Dalla Terra tasting, I had a chance to re-vist some Vietti, a crazy Barbaresco that didn't even have a price listed, among other things, but I went straight for the Avignonesi. I happily lounged with my tart, strange wine and nibbles of cheese.

     I had to do a little dance when a table finally ordered this wine the other night. No one orders stuff this cool very often. Admittedly, it was with my recommendation, but it was the right wine for the right people (they love awesome Sangiovese). The average California palate would taste the cranberry-orange thing going on and would be like, "What the hell did I just drop a hundo on?"

     Bottom line, luscious fruit but of the cranberry/raspberry variety, with an exotic, fragrant nose. A happy place for a sensitive, dreamer-type wino. 

85% Prugnolo Gentile & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Prugnolo Gentile is local to Montepulciano, Tuscany, and is similar to the Sangiovese Grosso clone grown in neighboring Montalcino. Yes, these clones do taste a bit bigger and more flavorful than common Sangiovese.

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