Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (2007)
From my experience, Avignonesi is the flagship Vino Nobile available in the US. This may, of course, vary from region to region, but this is the wine I have found most easily from New York to South Carolina, at least. In Tuscany, around Montepulciano, Fattoria Cerro was the most commonly available, and generally the cheapest Vino Nobile available at the “supermarkets”, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
I find Avignonesi to be a great example of the style. It’s not the best one I’ve had, but it represents the region well, and would be a good, easy-to-find, reasonably priced (~$25) way to try Vino Nobile if you haven’t had it before. If you’ve ever been to this region of Italy, I think you’ll agree that this wine is it’s essence in a glass.
We paired this with a wild boar ragu (a rare find at Wegman’s this week – D’Artagnan wild boar!), which certainly contributed to the “essence of Tuscany” thing. Really, this wine can go with a wide variety of Italian fare – from grilled meats to pizza and pasta. If you can’t get wild boar, try it with pork chops with garlic, sage and white beans.
Aroma highlights mushrooms and leather. Flavor is mostly ripe cherries, with a bit of smoke and earth. A touch of oak spice on the finish. Medium body, medium tannin. Very nice, as usual. Brief decant helps a bit.