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Avennia Arnaut Syrah 2018

ID No: 447432
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 97 Points
Vintage:2018
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

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.


Review:

The 2018 Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard is all varietal and was 85% destemmed and aged 16 months in 15% new French oak. Offering an Hermitage-like meatiness as well as lots of black and blue fruits, full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, and beautiful violet, floral, and gamey aromas and flavors, it’s brilliant, concentrated red delivering notable ripeness as well as a plenty of underlying structure and tannins. Again, a comparison to a top Hermitage comes closest in comparison. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 10-15 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points


 

Winery: Avennia

The Avennia Estate
Our goal is to make wines that evoke clarity: clarity of place, clarity of type, clarity of purpose.
We believe this is best expressed by using the classic French varietals and blends, with methods passed down over generations. We work within this context to allow Washington vineyards and terroirs to distinguish themselves. Terroir is only readily appreciable in a well-formed, harmonious wine. Structure is the backbone from which beauty can radiate.

Avennia is inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon, and signifies for us the heart of Old World winemaking. Our wines are designed to tease rather than flaunt; pique interest, not beg for attention. They stand for elegance, delicacy, purity. Our wines are made to enhance conversation, not dominate it, and will be a welcome guest at the table

 

 

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Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.

Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the essence of this famous appellation. It is broad-shouldered and deeply fruited, with classic Red Mountain structure promising a long life in the cellar.

Red Mountain Cabernet is renowned for its firm structure, ageability, and distinctive fruit profile. The 2018 Red Mountain Cabernet accentuates this character using older vines from two iconic vineyards, dating 25-35 years old. The result is a wine of profound depth and complexity featuring dark cherry and currant fruit, as well as crushed herbs and a hint of minerality. Red Mountain wines are known for their ability to cellar for years, and the 2018 vintage should ensure that this wine will be enjoyable for decades to come.

Review:

If the Horse Heaven Hills releases is Graves-like, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is the Pauillac in the lineup and has a more concentrated, austere style that needs lots of air to show at its best. Gorgeous cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as notes of graphite and lead pencil along with a terrific sense of chalky minerality give way to a full-bodied, powerful yet still elegant Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Delivering building tannins and good acidity, it will need 7-8 years of bottle age to hit maturity and should see its 30th birthday in fine form. This wine is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot, brought up in 75% new French oak, and the vineyard sources are Klipsun and Red Mountain Vineyard.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97+ Points

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Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge La Reine des Bois 2019

Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois is made from Grenache 75 %,  Mourvèdre 10%,  Syrah 10 % , Counoise 3% &  Vaccarese 2%.

This premium cuvee - whose name means "Queen of the Woods" - is from 65-year-old vines, planted on Villafranchian-era terrasses. Yield is 30 hl/ha.

Deep ruby red; opaque. Aromas of red fruits change to wooden touches of leather, black truffles and coffee. Fat, concentrated and full flavored with a very long liquoriced and fruity finish.

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Review:

"The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée De La Reine des Bois is a deeper, more masculine wine with gorgeous cassis and blackberry fruits as well as graphite, licorice, crushed stone, violets, and lavender nuances. Rich, full-bodied, and incredibly concentrated, it has a brilliant sense of freshness and purity as well as length on the finish. It's going to require 4-5 years of bottle age, but this straight-up thrilling Châteauneuf du Pape will have 20-25 years of prime drinking."

- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2021), 98+ pts




 98 Points
Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2018

Force Majeure estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in the vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils.

The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.

AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah

Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils

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Production 500 (9-liter cases)

Review:

The 2018 Syrah Estate includes a splash of Viognier and was fermented with 15% stems and brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. A huge nose of blueberries, black raspberries, spring flowers, smoked game, and ground pepper notes give way to a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, gorgeous barrel sample that has no hard edges, incredible balance, and a finish that won’t quit. While the Viognier gives some cushion to the classic Red Mountain structure of this wine, it’s still going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. My money is on this being one of the top wines of the vintage.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97-100 Points


 100 Points
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2018

Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
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22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.


Review:

"One of the wines of the vintage. Comprised of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, with small parts Merlot and Petit Verdot, this saw 80% new French oak prior to bottling. The nose is downright intoxicating with crème de cassis, anise, blueberry compote and sandalwood tones that all meld in the glass. The palate is rich and seductive, with not only beautiful concentration but a seamless texture and downright brilliant length. Rich crème de violette, sagebrush, blackberry cordial and mocha flavours provide plenty of exotic appeal."

- Decanter (April 2021), 99 pts


 99 Points
Navigator Napa Valley Red Blend 2018


Navigator Napa Valley Red Blend is made from 65% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 15% Petite Sirah

Aromas and flavors of black cherry, black plum, cocoa and baking spice will take you at least 10 fathoms deep as you savor sip after sip. Now, all you have to do is find your latitude and longitude, plot your position, and open this wine!

Navigator California Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

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Avennia Le Corbeau Syrah 2017

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

Reviews:

"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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 94 Points
Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 5% 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.

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Review:

A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Dionysus, and Bacchus vineyards and spent 20 months in 48% new French oak barrels. A beautiful, Saint-Julien-like bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, violets, tobacco, and cedar gives way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured wine that builds incrementally on the palate, with ripe, velvety tannins, a stunning mid-palate, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's beautifully done, and while it drinks well today given its balance, purity, and texture, it's going to develop additional complexity with 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity.

Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points

 96 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2018

Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc

Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.

The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.


Review:

The Merlot-dominated 2018 Valery (there's 11% Cabernet Franc) comes from two great vineyards, Boushey and Champoux, and spent 20 months in 28% new French oak. Deep ruby/plum-hued, with a great nose of black cherries, plums, dried herbs, and violets, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, soft tannins, and a great finish. This ripe, plump, sexy Merlot has loads of character and will keep for a decade. It has a certain Pomerol-like elegance, and I’m a fan.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points


 94 Points
Avennia Justine Red Blend 2016

Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah 

Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.

 Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.

Review:

A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts

 94 Points
Betz Family Domaine de Pierres Syrah 2018

Betz Family Domaine de Pierres Syrah is made from 100% Syrah.


With our long history of making single site syrah's in Washington, it made sense for us to venture into the Rocks District of Milton Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley to bring you our newest syrah, "Domaine de Pierres."

The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation. 

In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express. 

The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it.  We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!


Review:

Coming from the Ancient Stones Vineyard in the Rocks region of Walla Walla, the 2018 Syrah Domaine De Pierres is 100% Syrah that was not destemmed and was brought up in a mix of small and larger barrels. Classic Rocks notes of red and blue fruits, peppered game, exotic flowers, sweet mulch, and other herbal and cedary notes define the bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a soft, rounded texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. While it has plenty of funkiness, it also has ample fruit as well as purity. It's approachable today yet will keep for 10-15 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points


 97 Points
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah 2018

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.


Review:

The 2018 Syrah La Serenne comes from the Yakima Valley and is always a more gamey, complex, exotic Syrah than the Cote Rousse. All from the Boushey Vineyard and seeing 70% stems, its ruby/purple hue gives way to a great nose of blueberries, lavender, smoked game, and peppered meat. Blind, I'd have guess it was from the Rocks region in Walla Walla given it's gamey exotic, floral character. Beautiful on the palate as well, with medium to full body, building tannins, and plenty of fruit, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will cruise for over a decade.

-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points

 94 Points
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