2020 Avignonesi, Da – Di, IGT Toscano Rosso Biologico, Tuscany, Italy.
This easy delicious, uniquely made Da – Di Rosso by Avignonesi, the famous producer of classic Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is crafted from all organic Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) that saw an all whole berry, partial whole cluster and carbonic fermentation with natural yeast and no sulfites added, making for a lighter and juicier style red with fresh red fruit layers, bright spices and a light to medium body. This 2020 Da – Di Rosso also was aged in terra-cotta amphora and saw no wood, all the winemaking methods used here is why this Avignonesi is not labeled under the DOC or DOCG rules for the area’s Montepulciano designation, it certainly doesn’t taste like those wines either, but it is very fun stuff. The Da – Di is vibrantly presented with tart cherry, strawberry and plum fruits leading the way along with crushed stones, a faint earthy element, a herbal crunch from the stems, anise and delicate florals, this is special project by Avignonesi, which I hope they continue and was a tiny limited bottling for now, it should be enjoyed with a slight chill, like a Cru Beaujolais. The Montepulciano region has soils are mainly made of marine sediments and clay with some sandy areas that provide the perfect conditions, along with the warm days, for Sangiovese to thrive.

It was great to catch with Avignonesi’s lineup of wines at the San Francisco Slow Wine tasting, these Montepulciano wines are beautifully made and very authentic terroir bottlings, with their 2017 Nobile being the star of the table, but I just couldn’t get enough of this rarity after it was pointed out to me by a friend, I’m glad I didn’t overlook this Da – Di, which is one of only a handful of Amphora raised Tuscan reds, joining Montesecondo’s Tin bottling from near Rada in Chianti Classico. Avignonesi has a collection of about 444 acres of vineyards in Montepulciano and Cortona regions, all of which fully certified organic and biodynamic in the southern part of Tuscany. For this particular wine, Avignonesi has put aside steel and oak in favor of Tuscan clay and the winery says this wine labeled with the Chinese phrase for “earth and soil”, hence the name Da-Di, adding it was chosen to underline the process and sense of place. All of the amphora was produced locally, with a total of eleven being used in this vintage, where the wine was raised, the maceration on the skins lasted 40-45 days with manual punching downs and the aging lasted about 90 days in total. While amphora is widely used in Italy again, this ancient vessel is seeing quite a renaissance and their use is getting more attention, with this Da – Di Rosso, the third edition to be released, having a pure expression the Sangiovese grape, it’s a fun offering that I highly recommend.
($22 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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