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
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
The 2015 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a blockbuster Syrah from Red Mountain that’s from the Ranch at the End of The Road and Ciel du Cheval vineyards. It’s a mix of four different clones and is brought up in barrel. This deep, inky, seriously black Syrah gives up Hermitage-like notes of scorched earth, charred meats, graphite and licorice. It’s a big, concentrated effort that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep through 2035. Robert Parker 96 Points
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2015 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.
"This has terrific plum and boysenberry aromas with attractive wet earth and deep plums, violets, hard brown spices and dark stones. The palate has bright yet precise dark-plum and blackberry fruits, spiced dark chocolate, stony elements and a long, succulent finish. Brilliant wine in a very early stage of its life. Drink 2020 through a decade or more."
- James Suckling (December 2018), 96 pts - #88 - TOP 100 AMERICAN WINES OF 2018
Descroix Beaujolais Nouveau is made from 100% Gamay
Light, fresh, fruity wine, easy to drink. Serve chilled.
Nouveau is made with carbonic maceration, or whole-berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the grapes without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.The result is an easy-drinking, cherry-red, tasty, clean wine that is best served chilled. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed young, within 5-7 months.
Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be made from grapes grown in the 10 crus (great growths) of Beaujolais; only from grapes coming from the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages. Approximately 1/3 of the entire crop of the Beaujolais region is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau.
The Gamay grapes that go into Beaujolais Nouveau are handpicked, as are all the grapes in the Beaujolais. Beaujolais & Champagne are the only vineyards where hand harvesting is mandatory. Gamay (Gamay noir Jus Blanc) is the only grape permitted for Beaujolais.
The region of Beaujolais is 34 miles long from north to south, and 7 to 9 miles wide. There are nearly 4,000 grape growers who make their living in this picturesque region just north of France's third largest city, Lyon.
Beaujolais Nouveau originated about a century ago as a 'vin de l'année' - a cheap and cheerful drink produced by locals to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The Beaujolais AOC was established in 1937, and after WWII, the wine was sold outside of the area. By the 1970's, Beaujolais Nouveau day was a national event.
The Domaine Descroix Estate
Domaine Descroix was founded in 1905 and has been in the family for four generations. Xavier Descroix is the current owner. The winery is located in the village of Lantignie, north of Beaujolais, right next to Beaujeu which is the historic capital of Beaujolais and gave its name to the region. Lantignie encompasses the crus Regnie, Brouilly and Morgon.
The wines are vinified, aged and bottled at the winery combining tradition and modern technologies.
They sell 50% of their production in bulk to négociants, the rest at the property and started to sell to the export market in 2006.
They work in respect of the terroir and the environment and focus on the work in the vineyard and low yields to obtain high quality grapes producing excellent wines. They aim to produce Beaujolais wines that are authentic and true to the appellation.
The Domaine Descroix Vineyard
The vineyard measures 11.27 hectares total (27.84 acres), broken down as follows:
- 9.75 hectares in Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages AOC, located in the towns of Beaujeu and Lantignié. Soils are made of granite and sand which results in fruity wines with character.
- 0.56 ha in Brouilly AOC, located in the town of Saint Lager, at the bottom of Mount Brouilly, on schist based soils. The wines are fruity with good concentration.
- 0.69 ha in Morgon AOC, located in the parcels called “Grand Cras” in Morgon. Soils are made of manganese and granite and produce typical and powerful wines.
- 0.27 ha in Beaujolais Villages Blanc and Bourgogne Blanc planted with Chardonnay and situated in Beaujeu, on very steep slopes made of clay and granite soils, with a southern exposure.
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Deep ruby-red in color with violet hints. Complex and intense bouquet, features blackberries, cherries and plums, with delicate floral notes and spices. Balanced and fresh mouth, full-bodied with good length of spices.
The grapes come from the fantastic area of Paraje Altamira in the Uco Valley, Mendoza.
Maceration: 4 days cold soaking below 10°C in stainless steel tanks
Alcoholic fermentation: 80% of the wine in stainless steel tanks for 15 days with wild yeasts, 20% of the wine in 225-liter closed French oak barrels
Malolactic fermentation: Yes
Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.
Very perfumed floral nuances scented with some fresh herbaceous notes, slightly tangy mineral nose too. Lovely freshness and chalky tannins, nice follow through and well-textured. Great fruit purity, attractive use of oak.”
- Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, 97 points/Platinum Medal
"Planted on the younger, southern side of Paraje Altamira on poor soils, this is an outstanding Malbec from the richly talented Gabriel Bloise. True to his philosophy of avoiding the use of small new oak barrels, it’s a large foudre-aged red with bright red berry fruit, granular tannins, a hint of anise aniseed and engaging palate length."
- Tim Atkin MW (March 2020), 95 pts