The Return of Grandi Annate: Terroir Speaks; we listen
The vintage is 2011 and the place is I Poggetti estate, where the grapes from the old Sangiovese vines, planted in 1974, are hand-picked by a crew of experienced vineyard workers.
This is where the story of the NEW Avignonesi Grandi Annate Vino Nobile di Montepulciano begins: with the soil, the grapes and the vintage: the building blocks of terroir.
What’s in the soil?
The soil of I Poggetti estate stems back to the Pliocene era: in other words, it develops above sediments of marine origin, characterized by alternating clay and sand layers of a yellow-brown colour, with medium alkalinity and chalkiness.
In terms of wine terroir, the dominance of clay in the soil gives concentration, strength and balance to the Sangiovese, for the production of a Vino Nobile with the stamina to age in time.
Sangiovese and the 2011 vintage:
At I Poggetti estate the old Sangiovese vines give very low yields and grapes of a very high quality. In 2011, which saw a long, hot and dry summer, the old vines behaved exemplary, as they were able to dig deep into the soil with their long roots and find water, thus not suffering exceeding hydric stress. From an analytic point of view, the old vine Sangiovese is richer in polyphenols (dry extract) and anthocyanins (colour) than what we usually see in Montepulciano thanks to their age.
The terroir equation:
In essence, the 2011 Sangiovese from the old vines of I Poggetti featured concentration and structure coming from the soil, with elegance and finesse coming from the age of the vines: a perfect matrimony and exactly what we were looking for to craft our NEW Grandi Annate.
What is Grandi Annate?
Some of you may remember the Grandi Annate in its old version. Grandi Annate was the Riserva of the Avignonesi Vino Nobile, a wine which would only be produced in the best vintages, thus the name GRANDI ANNATE (Great Vintages). A blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine had a special style which stood out in the Vino Nobile category. The last vintage of this style of Grandi Annate was 2007.
The NEW Grandi Annate, 100% Sangiovese, represents the best and most interesting expression of Sangiovese from the Avignonesi terroir. It will not always be produced with grapes from the same vineyard. The 2011 vintage, for example, which will be launched in January 2015, is a single vineyard wine from I Poggetti estate, while the 2012 vintage is a blend of Sangiovese from 3 different vineyard parcels. In fact, with eight vineyard properties within the Vino Nobile appellation, the Avignonesi winemakers have ample opportunity to both understand the complexity of the DOCG and to uncover the unique character of Sangiovese from selected micro-terroirs of our best vineyards. (agronomist team to the left and winemaker team to the right)
We cannot begin to tell you how excited we are to launch this wine. It is no secret that we are in love with Sangiovese, and our normal Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has had the fortune of gaining important international recognitions, since we re-launched it as a 100% Sangiovese. In fact, 2 years in a row it has been a SMART BUY in the Wine Spectator, and the 2010 vintage can be found on the WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 WINES OF THE YEAR 2013.
“The Grandi Annate 2011 is for me the perfect example of how we like to craft our wines. We do our best to listen to the vines, to understand their needs and accompany their growth during the year, with the objective of harvesting the best grapes possible, which truly convey the special character of the Montepulciano terroir. For me, a wine with a sense of place is always more interesting to drink. Terroir speaks: we listen!”
Look out for the GRANDI ANNATE VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2011 from January 2015 and enquire about purchase opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.