Saturday, January 5, 2013

Avignonesi Desiderio - 2005

When most people think of Avignonesi, I suspect they'd recall Montepulciano's best producer of Vino Nobile.  Or perhaps fans of the winery will immediately mention their other worldly Vin Santo.  What they may not realize is that Avignonesi crafts one delicious Merlot. 

The 2005 Avignonesi Desiderio is pure Merlot sourced from the Cortona area of Tuscany.  The wine gets its name from the largest of Chianina steer that reigns over the farm near the vineyard source. Indeed, his name is Desiderio, and he graces the label.  But to the wine....

In the glass the wine is dark purple, with nary a trace of fading at the rim.  The nose is unmistakably Merlot, but Merlot from Tuscany.  As an aside, Merlot from Tuscany is special.  To my tastes, they never seem to have that off-putting fecal stench that you can often find in a French Merlot, and they're equally not over oaked the way some from California can be. Generalizations for sure, but I digress. 

Aromas lift from the glass and display the Tuscan terroir.  Spices, black fruit, licorice, and minerals combine wonderfully.  On the palate, the clay warmed Tuscan Merlot fruit is accentuated with slight tobacco and dried herbs.  Dusty tannins round out the package and acids and tannins are mid-weight and balanced. This is a vintage to drink while others sleep in the cellar. The 2005's are ready to go now, but will have a wide drinking window of 4-6 more years.  91 points, about $40.  

The 2005 Avignonesi Desiderio: Pure Tuscan Merlot


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