2010 was full of memorable developments and it began in earnest when Laura Lenzi took over vineyard management at Avignonesi in February. To the surprise of the experienced vineyard crew, some members of which have more than thirty years’ experience, she ably guided 100 hectares of vines through a cool and damp spring, a typically hot and dry Tuscan summer, and a tricky harvest that required a finely trained eye and palate.
At the request of Virginie Saverys, Avignonesi's new owner, Laura Lenzi introduced biodynamic farming methods to 20% of the domain's vineyards so that by the time we were ready to harvest, the soil in those areas was noticeably richer and looser, the foliage crisp and green, and the berries plentiful.
In early September, Virginie gave the green light to start picking the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Merlot for Avignonesi's new family of Tuscan IGTs: Bianco, Rosato and Rosso, which will be available from early 2011. Now eight weeks old, these wines are pure and fresh: lemon blossoms and orange zest, pomegranate and plums are the hallmarks of the 2010 Bianco, Rosato and Rosso respectively.
The 2010 vintage at Avignonesi was even more promising in terms of the elegant and mineral Sangiovese. One vineyard outshone the others: the vines of I Poggetti are now 30-years old and produce complex and persistent wines that are destined for the domain's Nobile. The mineral character in the soil of this south-facing hillside gives rise to luscious cherry notes in the grapes, a quality which has always made Avignonesi wines special.
We are also keenly optimistic about the 2010 Vin Santo and Occhio di Pernice, whose Malvasia and Trebbiano for the Vin Santo and Sangiovese for the Occhio di Pernice were particularly concentrated this year. But we won't know for sure until the cold weather sets in and the grapes start to wrinkle. Actually, we won’t really know for ten years… stay tuned!