Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
The Sestina is a poetic form from Medieval France. Just as a contemporary poet can use an old form like the Sestina to express modern ideas, we use the traditional Bordeaux blend to make modern wines that express Washington fruit. Sestina is our vision for an old vine blend where the focus is on structure, balance, and complexity. This wine is designed for the cellar, but is enjoyable now.
Sestina: This wine is a blockbuster, with black currant, black raspberry, saddle leather, freshly tilled earth, vanilla, and violet on the nose. Exceedingly rich and balanced on the palate, with great poise and structure for long aging. The finish echoes with fresh black fruits, minerally touches, and floral notes.
"The 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it's hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 237, June 29th 2018), 96 pts
Number #93 On Top 100 Cellar Selections From Wine Enthusiast
"The flagship 2015 Sestina checks in as 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Gorgeous notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, graphite, wet river rock, and leafy herbs all emerge from this beautifully balanced, fresh, classic wine that's still tight and backward. It's not a blockbuster but has building richness and tannin, as well as a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 95+ pts
"La Brulade" is the name of a select slope located at an altitude of 400 meters overlooking the Mediterranean sea between La Baie d'Amour (the town of La Ciotat) in the South and La Sainte Baume in the North. This is one of the highest parcels in the Bandol appellation.
The wine is only produced in exceptional vintages. This carefully selected blend is made of 95% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache, aged in large French oak barrels for 24 months.
The wine shows a deep purple color. It is fresh and fruity on the nose with intense garrigue aromas. Structured, elegant and well-balanced on the palate with strong tannins. Licorice, ripe black fruits, garrigue flavors and some peppery freshness on the finish.
The 35-year old grapes are grown on clay and limestone soils and are farmed organically. Yield is very low - 15hl/ha. The grapes are harvested manually.
Winemaking: Double selection, destemming, crushing before skin contact fermentation. No filtration. Aging for 24 months in French oak casks (600L).
Grilled meat (lamb, beef, boar), Mediterranean cuisine, spicy dishes.
"The inky-colored 2015 Bandol Rouge la Brulade is 95% Mourvèdre, aged two years in demi-muids. Rich, plummy and intense, it showcases the power and majesty of Mourvèdre but somehow tames the tannins to manageable proportions. It's full-bodied and dense, boasting hints of lavender, thyme and sage to go along with the dark fruit flavors. It should drink well soon and remain strong through at least 2030. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Interim end of September, September 2018), 93 pts
The flagship 2015 Bandol Brulade is a powerful, serious Bandol that knocks it out of the park with its monster nose of dark fruits, cured meats, sandalwood, olive tapenade, and leathery characteristics. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and pure, with plenty of sexy fruit, it’s a terrific, serious Bandol that needs another 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15-20."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 94 pts
Grenache speaks loudly in the Bésoleil with notes of pomegranate, red raspberry, and strawberry leaf. The Counoise and Cinsualt bring bing cherry fruit and blueberry notes to the table, complicated by pepper and garrique. Mourvedre donates a wild meatiness to the blend, and a purple hue. Syrah rounds things out, adding texture, and flesh to the palate.
The first vintage where they’ve pushed the bottling back to give the cuvee 16-18 months in barrel, the 2015 Besoleil is a dead ringer for a high-quality Chateauneuf du Pape and offers perfumed notes of herbes de Provence, kirsch, licorice and sweet spice. It’s medium to full-bodied, textured and fruit-forward, with a hedonistic yet elegant profile that’s going to evolve gracefully.
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"Possessing even more Merlot than the 2014, the 2015 Clos de Betz is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot brought up in a mix of barrels. Its chocolatey plum, tobacco leaf, licorice and damp earth aromatics give way to a medium to full-bodied, polished, pretty style on the palate that shines for its elegance and freshness. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 92-94 pts
Betz Family Pere de Famille is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 4% Merlot
The 2015 Père de Famille is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 4% Merlot that's mostly from Red Mountain aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. This inky colored effort is packed and stacked, with deep blackberry and currant fruits intermixed with lots of graphite, crushed rock, and minerals as well as smoky, violets aromas and flavors. This full-bodied beauty has gorgeous purity and elegance. It needs 2-4 years of bottle age and will keep for two decades. -Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Pure, powerful and polished, the Wall Road shows immense aromas of black currant, blueberry, blackberry preserves and hints of sweet dark herbs. The palate is fully developed and well-structured with firm yet ripe tannins and layers of dried red fruits and currants. There is a forest and sweet herb quality that hints at the signature terroir of this Mountain gem. The finish is long and lingering and lifts the layers of fruit on the palate perfectly.
Vintage Notes – An unseasonably warm start to 2015 brought early bud break and bloom for Napa Valley. Vines began to show fatigue as they entered their fourth year of drought, resulting in lower crop yields than years prior. Unexpected heat meant an early harvest for the valley, one of the earliest on record. Ripened fruit proved to be of tremendous quality, while Cabernets are deep and decadent in color with great balance in tannin.
Wall Road Vineyard – This three-acre gem is located at the northern tip of the Mount Veeder AVA, due west of Oakville and the To Kalon vineyard. True to the Veeder AVA, this site delivers both the power and elegance we strive to achieve in our Mountain Cabernets. The elevation, slope orientation and well-drained soils yield fully ripened small berries with concentrated flavor.
Mount Veeder AVA – Known for its acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, this illustrious appellation produces graceful, expressive and world-renowned wine. Limited by nature, Mount Veeder’s rugged mountain terrain, high elevation and cooling influence from the San Pablo Bay allows for a long growing season that returns low, sought after yields. This results in powerful fruit with distinct berry flavors.
"This is some very serious stuff. Aromas of tar, vanilla and cloves. But the fruit is delicious with notes of boysenberries, blackcurrants, oranges, lavender, herbs and baking spices. The palate's rich and warming but also calm and composed. Layers of blue fruit, ripe yet integrated tannins, a fine line of acidity and a long finish. The broader style remains so elegant. Drink in 2022."
- James Suckling (May 2018), 95 pts
Light straw-colored, it offers an attractive nose of green apple, lemon-lime, white fruit, banana and melon. Ripe, crisp, and refreshing, this Spanish white wine has quite a long finish and it represents an excellent value.
ALBADA Macabeo is made with 100% Macabeo grapes coming from very old vines. Most of them are over 50 years old and many of them are up to 100 years thanks to the enormous dedication of the grape growers, generation after generation. This wine has been selected to get proï¬t from the great potential of old vineyards and little production of Macabeo located in the heart of D.O. Calatayud.
After crushing and destemming the grapes, they were macerated during 10 hours at 11ºC. The following step was the drawing off the must, which fermented in a controlled temperature of 11ºC for 4 weeks. Long maceration on the lees are the perfect way to extract maximum flavors from the macabeo varietal.
Origin of the Name ALBADA:
The word "Albada" has two meanings: one refers to the ancient songs performed by the local vine growers, while the other means dawn. The circular art work of the label was designed by the artist Aitor Tellechea. It is an etching that represents the "Garnacha from Aragon", place of origin of this grape variety which is now spread worldwide. The circle means perfection, well-balanced power; from the beginning to the end. The course of life that begins again every season for our wine, in the vineyard.
Brilliant golden straw color. Floral, tropical aromas and flavors of lemon blossoms, sour sop and honeydew, and pickled melon rind and mango with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long whole peach, green apple, and earth finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A silky, tasty Spanish white with great purity and finesse. 92 Point Beverage Tasting Institute
Bodegas Virgen de la Sierra Estate
Founded in 1954, Virgen de la Sierra is a grape growers co-op with 579 members, and 710 hectares (1,753 acres) of vines growing at 750 meters above sea level. The average age of the vines is close to 40 years. The principal grape variety is Garnacha (60%). Others include Macabeo or Viura (20%) and Tempranillo (16%), with the remaining 4% being a mix of experimental varieties: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
The region's semi-arid climate and high altitude make for ideal growing conditions for quality Garnacha and Macabeo grapes. Hot dry summers, with a sharp shift in daytime to nighttime temperatures let grapes reach full ripeness, while maintaining good levels of acidity. The red iron-rich oils are rocky, with a mix of sand and gravel and a low amount of organic material. A thick clay subsoil helps retain moisture through the long dry summer months.
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Gaja Barbaresco is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
The flagship of the Gaja family, this wine is produced from Nebbiolo grapes and named for its village of origin. Deep garnet in color, the aroma is complex and sensual with notes of forest fruit, plum, licorice, mineral and coffee. The texture is supple with fine, silky tannins and bright acidity leading to a long finish.
STYLE: Complex, Dense, Structured
FLAVOR: Forest Fruit, Plum, Licorice, Mineral, Coffee
After fermentation is complete, the separate lots are then aged for one year in barriques (20% new, with a balance in one and two year old casks). The 14 lots are then blended and racked to large Slavonian oak casks ranging in age from five to fifteen years.
The Gaja 2017 Barbaresco is nuanced and delicate with ever-expanding aromatic intensity that amply fills the balloon of your glass. The wine takes a little while to open fully, and it slowly releases forest berry, powdered licorice, toasted aniseed, spearmint, dried lavender and rosemary essence to build a lasting bouquet. The mouthfeel is streamlined and almost steely, with an extremely linear approach that adds to its length and persistency. The tannins are tucked into the wine's delicate fiber, but you do feel the extra textural firmness of the hot vintage nonetheless. As we have seen in past vintages, more definition is added by a pretty mineral note that is a common thread in these wines from Gaja. Production is 38,000 bottles. - Wine Advocate 95 Points
Fragrant and refined, this opens with heady scents of wild berry, rose petal, camphor and underbrush. Elegantly structured, the polished palate offers ripe Marasca cherry, blood orange and star anise framed in taut, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2022–2029. -Wine Enthusiast 95 Points
This gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043. 1,800 cases imported. -Wine Spectator 96 Points