Sunset Hills Red is made from 77% Cabernet Franc, 9% Tannat, 8% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes of brambled blackberry, raspberry, plum, and forest floor. Light in body, leaning on acidity rather than tannins. Youthful and vibrant!
The lighter style that Sunset Red offers widens the scope of the wines here at Sunset Hills Vineyard. Delicate and youthful, the structure of the Sunset Red is carried by its acidity and bright fruit notes, rather than heavy oak or tannins. We want this wine to be enjoyed young—with the fruit notes still bright and vibrant.
Alain Jaume Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail is made from 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah.
Deep red garnet color. Aromas of ripe and black fruits. On the palate the wine is rich, powerful and harmonious - well balanced with wild berry and pepper dominating.
Located in and around the famous area called “Dentelles de Montmirail”, the landscape typicity is made by a rocky bar (between 100 and 600 meters high). Soils are made of clay and sand with limestone. The “Dentelles” appeared thanks to the pressure between the Pyrenees and Alps mountains. This is a land of predilection to produce both powerful and fresh wines. Nights are cooler and the grapes ripeness usually comes in late September.
Winemaking & aging
Traditional wine-making in stainless and concrete vats. Crushed and destemmed grapes. Average of 18 days of vatting with pigeages. Ageing in vats mostly and oak barrels. Bottling after 12 – 14 months.
"Based on 65% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Syrah, the 2017 Gigondas Terrasses De Montmirail is an impressive wine from the Jaume family and has classic ripe cherry and black raspberry fruit as well as notes of white flowers, graphite, and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, with sweet tannins, drink it over the coming decade." - Jeb Dunnuck (September 2019, Southern Rhône Part 2: 2017 & 2018 from Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Cairanne, and Rasteau), 91 pts
The full-bodied, rich and velvety 2017 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail is another winner from the talented Jaume family. Hints of lavender and garrigue add intrigue to ripe black cherries and stone fruit. While approachable now with a bit of air, it has enough stuffing to cellar for a decade or so. - Wine Advocate 91 Points
Avennia Arnaut Syrah is made of 100% Syrah
For our taste, no one grows finer Syrah in the state than Dick Boushey. We named this wine after the Provencal Troubadour Arnaut Daniel, who invented the Sestina poem form, thus creating a connection between our two flagship efforts.
"Deep, dark Syrah notes on the nose, with dark blackberry, blueberry reduction, grilled meat, crushed olive, black licorice, camphor, pen ink, and cracked black pepper. The palate is super concentrated and dense, tightly focused, and deeply complex. Savory blueberry, pan drippings, a hint of orange essence, and hand-rubbed sage come through on the extremely long and nuanced finish. A compelling wine that will age for a couple decades at least." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
We make this wine with minimal manipulation, using native yeasts and bottling unfined and unfiltered, to allow the "place" to shine through.
AVA: Yakima Valley
Blend: 100% Boushey Vineyard Syrah
Winemaking: 15% whole cluster, native yeast, 15% new French oak, aged 16 months, bottled unfined & unfiltered.
The 2017 Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard comes from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in the Yakima Valley and was harvested on October 2nd. Violets, rose petals, and sweet blackberry fruit all emerge from this more medium-bodied, elegant, silky Syrah that’s not a blockbuster but has beautiful purity and elegance. It’s another wine I suspect will gain weight over the course of its élevage. Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 Point
"The 2017 ‘Arnaut’ Syrah is entirely sourced from the Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA and is a simply magical effort from superstar winemaker Chris Peterson. A glass-staining purple, the ‘Arnaut’ needs roughly an hour in the decanter to be fully aroused. Over time, this slowly opens with great aromatic range, from green peppercorns and sagebrush to shades of bacon fat, cigar ash and suggestions of bulls blood with fresh red fruits that round out the impressive bouquet. Soft and generous, with silky tannins and gobs of mouth-watering acidity, the ‘Arnaut’ shows ripe red and dark fruits that mingle with crushed mint, blackberry cobbler, mocha and tar on the palate. While a bit tightly wound in its youth, this beautiful new Syrah will have a long life in the cellar. Drink 2020-2035. - Owen Bargreen"
- Washington Wine Blog, 94 pts
Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.
This very limited bottling shows the compelling potential of Cabernet Franc from a top vineyard. Though it’s often used as a spice in Avennia's Bordeaux blends, this wine, from the legendary Champoux Vineyard, has its own unique character and complexity that convinced them to feature it alone.
“Featuring a dark garnet color, this year’s Cabernet Franc opens with dark red cherry, boysenberry, damp earth, winter mint, and hints of rose petal on the nose. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, and complex, with mulberry, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, and savory herbs, kept lively with bright acidity. One of the standouts of the vintage, this beauty can stay in the cellar another year or two, and be enjoyed over the following decade plus." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"From a cooler site in the Horse Heaven Hills and all varietal, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, red plums, chocolate, spice, flowery incense, and cedarwood. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced on the palate, it shows the elegance and purity of the vintage yet still packs plenty of opulence and texture. It’s one of the finest expressions of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington State. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 96 pts
Named after the French word for Crow, or Raven, this Syrah is certainly as dark as the name implies. Hailing from Discovery Vineyard, perched high above the Columbia River in the heart of the Horse Heaven Hills, these grapes were grown in a very unique terroir. Avennia's approach of old-world style, minimalist winemaking allows for full expression of the fruit, showcasing the elegant and savory side of Syrah.
"Leads with a nice balance of dark fruits—blackberry and blueberry—with more savory elements, including blackberry leaf, olive, charcuterie, and a hint of shiitake. The palate features snappy fresh black fruits, a hint of smoked meat, and a lively finish with plenty of savory elements that make this wine quite interesting. Give it a year in the cellar and enjoy over the next eight years or so." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"Aromas of blackberry and violet accented by a note of stems. Sweet, supple wine with dark fruit flavors lifted by a black-peppery topnote and accented by cinnamony Red Hots. For all its high notes, this is essentially a creamy wine with no edges. I suspect it will tighten up in bottle and eventually display a more savory aspect. Incidentally, this will be the last vintage for this bottling because, beginning with vintage 2018, Chris Peterson will introduce some new single-vineyard Syrahs from the exciting new WeatherEye vineyard on top of Red Mountain. This steep site, owned by Cameron Myhrvold and farmed by Ryan Johnson, extends over the ridgeline and onto the northern flank of Red Mountain. The project is called Red Mountain Elevated, and Peterson is making the wines. (14.5% alcohol; done mostly in puncheons; vinified with 10% stems) - Stephen Tanzer”
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 92 pts
"The last vintage for this cuvée, the 2017 Syrah Le Corbeau Discovery Vineyard is similar in style to the Arnaut yet offers slightly more floral notes in its blue fruits, wild strawberry, violets, rose petal, and sappy, forest floor aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with bright acidity and good balance, it’s a beautiful Syrah that leans heavily toward the fresh, elegant end of the spectrum while still offering tons of character and pleasure.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 92-94 pts
Avennia Oliane Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.
We believe Washington State can make Sauvignon Blanc that competes with any in the world. Oliane is barrel fermented in French oak using native yeast and aged on the lees for 7 months. It is bottled unfined to allow for greatest expression and complexity.
A well balanced and elegantly refreshing old world style Sauvignon Blanc.
“Leads with ripe aromas of grapefruit, Meyer lemon, peach, honey, and spring flowers. The palate is quite rich and palate coating, with stone fruits, citrus pith, crushed seashell, and sweet floral elements. A streak of minerally acidity keeps the wine focused and quenching through the finish.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
AVA: Yakima Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
TA 6.8 g/L
VA 0.30 g/L
Native yeast, barrel-fermentation.
5% new French oak, 10% concrete egg, 85% neutral French oak, aged 7 months on the lees.
70% Boushey Vineyard
30% Red Willow Vineyard
All Shellfish, grilled summer root vegetables, white fish.
"A blend of Boushey Vineyard and Red Willow, the 100% varietal 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Oliane offers racy, lively notes of citrus, lime, and crushed rocks. Medium-bodied, fresh, lively, yet textured, with good density, it will benefit from a year of bottle age and keep for a decade.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 91-93 pts
Alleme Getariako Txakolina is 100% Hondarribi Zuri
A very fruity, persistent and clean Txakoli. It reminds the white exotic fruits, such as lichy. It has a straw yellow color, without the slightest tone of rust and a faint natural gas pearl crown, due to the grape juice fermentation. In the mouth, it is greasy and unctuous, with a good balance of structure and acidity. In order to get such a Txakoli, we have combined the most traditional and the most innovative production methods to create it. Thanks to the batonnage (stirring of the lees), we have attained the characteristic unctuosity of this Txakoli.
After harvesting and pressing, the must is left to ferment in stainless steel tanks. Traditionally, and until recently, this was done in oak or chestnut barrels, called kupels, in Basque. Fermentation lasts 20–25 days and then the txacolí is left to lie on its lees. The CO2 prevents oxidation and dissolves the sediments and gives the wine its sparkling characteristic. The wines is not racked so it does not lose its sparkle and is clarified by natural sedimentation by gravity in the tank or barrel. Traditionally, the wine is tasted on the feast of San Antonio on 17 January, which is known as Txacolí Day (Txacoli Eguna, in Basque).
The Alleme Estate
Alleme is produced at Bodega Talai Berri. Located in the town of Zarautz (in the Spanish side of the Basque Country).
Zarautz is a small fishing towns on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, in the province of Guipuzcoa, Basque Country, Spain.
Built in 1992, the winery lays on the sunniest slopes of Mount Talai Mendi, surrounded by 12 ha of vineyards.
Bixente Eizagirre Aginaga represents the fourth dynasty generation, and his daughters, Itziar and Onditz, the fifth generation making Txakoli out of their vineyards fruits.
- History: The Denominación de Origen Txacolí de Getaria was created in 1990 and covers around 227 hectares of vineyards, down from over 1,000 hectares at the turn of the 20th century. However, wine had traditionally been made in this manner for hundreds of years and was popular from the Middle Ages up to the end of the 19th Century, when the vines were devastated by the phylloxera virus and the effects of industrialization of the Basque Country. There are now 26 wineries (bodegas) registered with the DO.
- The Climate: The DO area is protected from the cold northerly winds by the coastal hills, and enjoys a relatively mild climate, with an average annual temperature of 13.5°C, and moderate sunlight hours. Hail is a serious risk for the grapes. The rainfall of 1,600 mm/yr is the highest of all the Spanish wine regions.
- Grape Varietals: The only authorized grapes are Hondarrabi Zuri (white) and Hondarribi Beltza (red)
The Alleme Vineyards
The vineyards are all located near the coast where they are protected from the spring frost and from the summer heat. They are planted on the southeast facing slopes for additional protection from the sea breezes and in order to receive more sunlight. The slopes are often very steep and sometimes not terraced. The vines are trained over wires and sometimes over earthen or stone pillars. They can be anywhere between 10 and 100 meters above sealevel. The subsoil is predominantly clay covered by a layer of sandy soil.
Talai Berri owns 12 hectares.
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
Vintners Dennis O’Neil and Steph Martin began development of Checkerboard Vineyards in 1999 and retained winemaker Martha McClellan to create a portfolio of wines reflecting the mountainside. The estate includes four vineyard sites of different elevation, exposure and soil composition, providing the foundation for a portfolio that includes Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard, Checkerboard Coyote Ridge Vineyard, Checkerboard Nash Creek Vineyard, Checkerboard Kings Row, Checkerboard Sauvignon Blanc, and Checkerboard Rose. Grapes are harvested at dawn in micro-lots and delivered steps away to the winery where clusters are sorted, discarding any blemished ones. Individual berries are hand-selected for vinification and transferred for fermentation, by hand, to Taransaud wooden tanks, stainless tanks, and individual wooden barrels.
Farming is based on long-term sustainability and includes water conservation and monitoring, permanent cover crops planted in alternating rows, and the use of entomology for pest control and the development of soils with good organic matter and microbiology. Checkerboard Vineyards is a member of Fish Friendly Farming which promotes environmentally-friendly land practices and water quality management. Aurora Vineyard is located in a small valley midway up Diamond Mountain and on a large knoll at an elevation of 1,200 feet. The knoll bulges outward, giving the vineyard full Southern exposure and open light from the East and West and protection from Napa Valley’s summer fog. Six acres are planted in the knoll’s rich, volcanic soils that are riddled with basalt cobble in a loamy red clay. The remaining six acres are planted in a deep gravely mix of volcanic ash and chips of decomposed Rhyolite that were washed down from the steep, rocky crags of Diamond Mountain above.
There's a fresh, sweet aroma to the 2016 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard that builds excitement and anticipation for what's to come. On approach, the palate is juicy and expansive and explodes with flavors of blackberry, mulberry, dark cherry, caramel, leaf tobacco and green olive. The wine continues with a voluptuousness that's linear and constant yet lifted by natural acidity. The finish is showy, long and lingering with finely polished tannins. An exceptional vintage.