Principal Memorias Red Blend is made from 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 15% Petit Verdot.
The image on the label represents the "spiral of life", a symbol that is found in all major ancient civilizations that represents the cycle of life and the everlasting evolution.
Memorias is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend that includes Petit Verdot and Syrah, which was carefully crafted to achieve a perfect balance. It stands out for its great structure with soft and round tannins that will allow a complex evolution in the bottle.
Denomination of Origin: Maipo Andes Valley
63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah and 15% Petit Verdot.
Vineyard altitude: 780 meters above sea level.
Soil: Alluvial/colluvial origin, clay loam.
Climate: Sub humid Mediterranean with huge influence of the Andes Mountain.
Total Acidity: 5.94 g/L
RS: 2.0 g/L
- Descorchados (November 2017, 93 pts
"Gonzalo Guzman Cassanello collaborated on El Principal's wines with Patrick Léon, the longtime managing director of Bordeaux's Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, who first came to Chile in the 1990s to work on Almaviva. In the ripe 2014 vintage, they blended a relatively high proportion of syrah and petit verdot (22 and 15 percent, respectively) with cabernet sauvignon, creating an intriguing take on Pirque. Its flavors hint at ripe strawberries and darker notes of wild blackberries, the sweetness of that fruit held in a clean, light and delicate frame."
- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2019), 93 pts
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.
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
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.
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 2016 Sestina checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw 21 months in 48% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It shows the purity and elegance of the vintage beautifully and offers classic Cabernet notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, crushed rocks, and tobacco leaf. With beautiful balance and that more elegant, finesse-driven style of the estate, it packs plenty of fruit and is a seamless wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (The 2016s From Washington State, April 11th 2019), 95+ pts
#52 in the TOP100 Red Wines of 2019
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.
"Brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2016 Valery (70/30 Merlot and Cabernet Franc) offers more black cherry and earthy, herbal notes as well as a medium-bodied, seamless, beautifully balanced style. It too shows a vibrant, fresh, yet concentrated style that has a Bordeaux feel in its weight and texture."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 93 pts
"Good medium-dark red. Aromas of blueberry, mocha, licorice and violet are a bit darker than those of the 2015 version. Dense and penetrating, with wild flavors of dark berries, licorice and game given lift by rocky minerality and a minty nuance. Chris Peterson slightly acidified his Cabernet Franc from Champoux Vineyard, which he added to the wine for richness. This beauty may yet tighten up in the bottle.- Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 92+ pts
Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.
Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.
"Bright dark red. Aromas of dark berries, licorice and hot rocks. Plush, smooth and concentrated, with something distinctly old-fashioned about its flavors of black fruits and spices complicated by leather, minerals and warm stones. A good portion of these vines date back to the early 1970s." - Stephen Tanzer 92 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Red Willow Cabernet is a true blockbuster.
Coming from one specific block of 30 year old vines at this iconic vineyard, then strictly barrel selected, this is the essence of powerful, old vine Washington Cabernet. After all of our efforts promoting the idea of the Bordeaux blend, it would take a pretty compelling argument to suspend that idea and make a 100% varietal Cabernet. In 2016 Red Willow provided us with just that. Each time we tasted it in the barrel, the belief grew that this was something special. Something we can't make every year. In the end we were won over, and decided to make a limited amount of this wine. But don't be fooled, as this too is a blend and a selection. Each year as we are tasting the grapes as harvest approaches, we notice that the vines near the bottom of this long, steep west-facing slope, are a little different. The vines at the bottom are in a little richer soil, and get a little more water, so we pick them separately, sometimes even a week or ten days apart, and keep them separate in barrel.
This wine is all from the top of the vineyard, with its lower yield and poorer soils giving more concentration and interest. Then further, nearly every combination of new and used French oak barrels were trialed to find the best blend. It's not enough just to use the four best barrels, but to trial each combination to see how they complement each other. For a wine with this much mass, 100% new French oak was used for the first time at Avennia. It is a wine that needs a little cellaring to start, but should last a very long time.
Made from 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow is another gem from this great winemaker. Deep purple-colored, with a huge perfume of blackberries, crème de cassis, cedarwood, pencil lead, and graphite, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth, nicely integrated acidity, and building, ripe tannins. Give bottles 3-4 years and it too will cruise for 15-20 years or more.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 Points
Principal Calicanto Red Blend is made from 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Syrah, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Carmenere, 2% Malbec
Calicanto is a tribute to the Can y Canto Bridge built over the Mapocho River in Santiago between 1767 and 1782 and where the first Chilean wines were traded. It symbolizes the blending of two cultures as well as the commitment to producing wines that reflect the personality of their exclusive terroir.
The wine displays a fresh and fruity character, spicy notes and soft, silky tannins.
Pairs great with red meat, pastas and fatty fish.
"A pretty and savory red with dark berry and oyster shell. Some licorice, too. Full body, soft and layered tannins and a flavorful finish. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, syrah, petit verdot and malbec. Drink now."
- James Suckling (March 2018), 92 pts
The winery was named after the Picunche Chief Andetelmo, known as 'El Principal', master of the lands where the wintery at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley is located today.
The winery is owned and operated by two families - Jochen Döhle and the Said-Handal family.
Viña El Principal was orifinally a partnership between Jorge Fontaine, owner of the estate, and the French winemaker Jean Paul Valette, former owner of the famous Premier Grand Cru Classé Chateau Pavie in Saint-Émilion. Their goal was to produce a top-quality range of red wines that fully reflected the Chilean soul and the Valette family's heritage and experience in making fine wines. The El Principal terroir, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley was perfect for their project; its singular combination of climate, soil type, and altitude made ir ideal for producing wines with character, unique identity, and extraordinary quality.
Founded in 1992, Viña El Principal was originally a partnership between Jorge Fontaine, owner of the Hacienda El Principal, and the French winemaker Jean Paul Valette, former owner of the famous Premier Grand Cru Classé Château Pavie in Saint-Émilion.
Their goal was to produce a top-quality range of red wines that fully reflected the Chilean soul and the Valette family’s heritage and experience in making fine wines. The El Principal terroir, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in the Alto Maipo Valley (D.O Maipo Andes) was perfect for their project; its singular combination of climate, soil type, and altitude made it ideal for producing wines with character, unique identity, and extraordinary quality.
The partners selected 54 hectares of the property to plant Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere varieties. Ten years later, the first vintage of the winery’s icon, the 1999 El Principal, was successfully released earning the international recognition as one of the Ultra Premium Chilean wines and confirming the potential of Chile as a world-class denomination of origin.
Today, El Principal is a family-owned winery. German shipowner Jochen Döhle bought the winery in 2005 and later partnered with the renowned Chilean Said-Handal family, who acquired 50 percent of the ownership in 2013. From the beginning, Mr. Döhle has been determined to continue making high quality wines, and his strategy has included planting additional hectares, searching for new varieties, and investing in equipment and storage facilities. Together the two families have overseen the execution of this strategy while maintaining the tradition and distinct identity of its wines.
The renowned Bordeaux consultant Patrick Léon, who joined the Viña El Principal team in 2006, has been crucial in the winery’s purist approach to winemaking. His talent and unparalleled experience in producing high quality wines has established him as a consulting winemaker for some of the most prestigious wineries in the world.
Patrick was the Technical Manager of Château Lascombes Crus Classé in Margaux and Château Castera in Lesparre-Médoc, and he also spent two decades as the Managing Director for Baron Philippe de Rothschild, where he oversaw the company’s vineyards and winemaking facilities for Château Mouton Rothschild, Clerc Milon, Le Petit Mouton, Aile d’Argent, Opus One in California, Almaviva in Chile, Domaine de Lambert and Domaine de Baron’arques in the Languedoc, and Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux.
THE ANDETELMO ESTATE: A UNIQUE TERROIR
There are many factors that contribute to the uniqueness of El Principal wines, and one of the most important is its exceptional terroir. The Andetelmo Estate now consists of 90 hectares of vineyards in the Alto Maipo Valley (D.O Maipo Andes), at the foot of the Andes Mountains, 750 to 950 meters above sea level.
Geographical influences have generated a diversity of soil types that allow each grape variety to reach its finest expression and lend a particular character to the wines. The varied soils present a true mosaic of colluvial, alluvial, and gravel-cone collections and deposits. The hills have light-colored clay marbled with lime sediments, stone, and gravel, which allows for good drainage.
Furthermore, the mineral-rich waters of the Maipo River that flows through the vineyard also lend subtle complexity to the wines. The cooling effects of the Andean winds and the Humboldt Current create particular climate conditions and a broad daily temperature oscillation of more than 20ºC. This slows the ripening process and allows the grapes to develop intense fruit flavors with high concentrations of polyphenols, deep color, and ripe, elegant tannins.
El Principal wines are made exclusively with grapes grown at the Andetelmo Estate in the Alto Maipo Valley. The vineyard has been mapped into micro-zones that consider soil, altitude, solar exposure, and climate to identify the perfect blocks for producing the best quality grapes for each wine.
The grapes are harvested entirely by hand with controlled production and the sorting of clusters both in the field and again at the winery. The grapes are lifted to the top of the tanks to achieve gentle gravity-flow filling and thus avoid using pumps. The vinification process begins with a 5-day cold maceration at 8º–10ºC, followed by alcoholic fermentation, which lasts 8–14 days at temperatures that fluctuate between 28ºC and 30ºC using gentle manual pumpovers managed in accordance with the concentration and degree of ripeness of the grapes to ensure a gentle and controlled extraction.
This traditional Bordeaux vinification process and later ageing in French oak ensures the inimitable character of El Principal wines that reflect the elegance and identity of their terroir.
Viña El Principal's oenology develops starting with the vineyards. The wines are exclusively processed with grapes grown on the lands, where the vineyards are continually studied as to their physiology and their relation to the terroir, in order to identify and perfect the best plots and thus obtain top quality raw material. Harvesting is carried out entirely by hand, with controlled production and the sorting of clusters both in the field and later in the wine cellars. This is followed by a careful traditional Bordeaux vinification process and ageing in French oak, resulting in the inimitable character of these wines capable of reflecting the elegance and identity of the terroir.
The winemaking process starts with a harvesting entirely by hand and sectorized. Later, also by hand, in the wine cellar and on a vibrating table, the best clusters are selected before entering the de-stemmer. An optical selector is used to pick out the best fruit. The grapes are raised to the upper part of the tanks to achieve gravity flow filling and thus avoid the use of a pump. Later, cold maceration (between 8 and 10ºC) takes place for 5 days, followed by the start of the alcoholic fermentation which is prolonged for 8 to 14 days at a temperature fluctuating between 28ºC and 30ºC, with gentle manual remontage according to the concentration and maturation of the grapes. This ensures a gentle and controlled extraction.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon is always the last to ripen on the Alegria vineyard in the foothills of the Andes. And this year the Cabernet Sauvignon enjoyed high heat in January, followed by a cooler than usual countdown to harvest during February and March. The consequence was a crop of perfect clusters, exemplary concentration, enhanced flavors, and optimal, natural acidity. The result is a Cabernet Sauvignon of rare finesse.
SonVida Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 boasts classic varietal notes, blackcurrant, ripe red cherry, cassis. But what distinguishes this vintage is the excellent body and structure, the soft, round tannins and minerality so characteristic of the award-winning Altamira district, and the bright balance of its finish.
Once again, we selected whole clusters by hand as we harvested relatively late, in the third week of April, with low yields of 75 hl/ha. There was then a double selection: first, by bunches, then grape by grape. Total maceration took 20 days, starting with cold soaking for four days, alcoholic fermentation 12 days, then four days additional. The Syrah came from our vineyard – as always, SonVida represents the single vineyard wine.
Yes, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon to be enjoyed with a quality steak, or cut of beef. But also it can be enjoyed on its own, its smooth balance and finesse lending ideally to a relaxed evening in good company. It will age well, as have earlier SonVida Cabernets, adding complexity and richness.
Review:"Intense spicy aromas with a rich, ripe array of plums, blackberries and fragrant dark herbs. It has impressive, deep-set, cabernet berries that are sweet and ripe. Long, rich and noble tannins. Drink or hold."
Pomerols Picpoul Pinet HB Languedoc is made from 100 percent Picpoul.
Pale yellow color with green tints. Fresh and fine aromas of grapefruit and exotic fruit. Lime flavors, with typical focusing acidity, are hallmarks of Picpoul. Our best value, this wine impresses novices and hardened geeks equally.
Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
The range is named is named in honor of the rich soils in the region which are a major factor in the Barossa’s reputation as one of the great wine regions of the world.
The wine shows a bright red with a purple hue on release. Lifted blackcurrant balances the fresh herb characters on the nose. A hint of eucalyptus is evident. The palate has bright currant characters throughout. Spice and chocolate add to the complexity of the wine. The tannins are ripe and grainy and give the wine good structure.
"Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of plum pudding, raspberry jam, cinnamon mocha latte, licorice, dark chocolate, and eucalyptus with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, subtle, medium-long finish that presents shades of key lime pie, candied jalepeno, and orange marmalade. An inky, powerful Barossa Valley Cabernet."
- Tastings (2019), 91 pts - EXCEPTIONAL - BEST BUY
Thorn Clarke Shotfire Shiraz is made from 100% Shiraz.
Striking deep red-purple in color. A rich, voluptuous wine with aromas of blackcurrant and mulberries accompanied by notes of smokey oak and hints of cloves. The palate is filled with dark fruits and chocolate backed up by taut tannins and lingering oak.
"Destemmed, pressed approximately 7 days later, 14 months in American oak (40% new). Rich, layered, mocha/chocolate overtones to the black berry fruits are obvious."
- Halliday Wine Companion (August 2020), 92 pts
When the Clarke forebearers discovered gold in 1870 at the Lady Alice mine in the Barossa goldfields, so began a family dynasty intrigued by geology. A fine legacy that is reflected today in the terroir of our vineyards. The Shotfire range immortalizes the Shotfirer's hazardous job of setting and lighting the charges in the mines.
Fran shares his story on how he discovered Thorn-Clarke:
"It was October 2001 and I was searching for and sourcing for Australian wines, as it was clear that Australia was going to become the "next big thing." After tasting about 100 assorted wines, I decided I liked the style of Barossa, Shiraz best - chocolate, cherries, mint and eucalyptus - so I started focusing on Barossa growers (years later, Barossa Shiraz would develop its reputation as the Icon Shiraz for Australia).
Late on a Thursday afternoon, the carrier delivered a beat-up box of 12 bottles from Australia, 10 of which were leaking. The box was from a guy named Steve Machin, who had just left Hardy's and was beginning work with the Clarke family on setting up a possible new brand. The samples were sticky and messy, but I popped the corks anyway ..... and I was glad that I did. The wine inside tasted like Christmas - mint, eucalyptus, camphor, and evergreen aromas. Great acidity, color, flavor and length of finish - very tasty. These samples were so good and so exciting, especially compared to what I had tasted prior, that I immediately called the number on the card. I didn't realize that it was a Perth number (Western Australia) and it was actually 3:00 in the morning. It turned out I was calling the residence of David and Cheryl Clarke, where a sleepy Cheryl answered the phone. I told her, you don't know who I am, but we are going to be doing business together very soon, and lots of it! After a few months of talking, faxing (yes, faxing) and sorting out the details, I began importing their wines.
That super-star wine from the busted box of samples is the wine we know today as Shotfire Shiraz. It was originally called Stone Jar, but fortunately we came up with a better name. Many years and vintages later, I'm still glad to be importing Shotfire Shiraz and other Thorn-Clarke selections .... and I'm still glad that Cheryl Clarke woke up for that phone call."
Kennedy Point Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.
Kennedy Point Vineyard makes a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that captures the essence of the regional fruit. The grapes, grown in the hot, stony soils of the Wairau, produce a wine redolent of fresh cut wild flowers and a full palate of passion fruit, gooseberry and citrus. The wine has a crisp dry finish and is perfect as an aperitif, with seafood or any light summer meal.
Color: intense ruby red.
Bouquet:violet flowers, black cherry and wild black fruits.
Taste: warm, dry and with good balance.
Coming from a parcel with 8-13 year old vines planted in sandy clay and marl soils.
Harvest is 100% destemmed with a soft pressing, fermentation in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature of 28-30°C, pumping over for the first week of maceration followed by skin-contact maceration for 20-25 days with rack and return technique (delestage).
Malolactic fermentation completed.
Wine is slightly filtered before bottling.
"Bright deep red. Inviting aromas of red and dark berries and violet. Sleek and lively, with forward plum and blueberry flavors lingering nicely on the perfumed textured finish. Knockout Rosso. - Ian D'Agata"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (March 2020), 92 pts
Segries Secret Grange Lirac Rouge is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.
This is a new wine for Chateau de Segries. 2013 is the first vintage.
The wine is dark and inky.
The aromas are intense and complex. It has fruit flavors of course, Strawberry and Blackberry, but it also have some interesting spice components, garrigue, pepper and licorice.
The finish is long and very pleasant as the tannins are round and well integrated.
La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.
Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.
The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.
"The estate’s top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #233, October 2017), 93 pts
Segries Clos Jean Alesi Cotes du Rhone Rouge is made from 1/3 each of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
This wine was originally called Segries Lanzac Clos Hermitage Cotes du Rhone Rouge
This 3.5 hectare vineyard, located in the famous “Quartier de la Chartreuse de Villeneuve-les-Avignon”, has been owned by the Formula 1 race car driver Jean Alesi since 1995. It is managed by Château de Ségriès.
This wine is a blend of 33% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 33% Mourvedre sourced from 40-year-old vines. It was fermented in concrete vats then aged for nine months in 5% new oak barrels. The wine is a very grapey color in the glass. There is a light nose of tightly packed black fruit, dried herbs, pepper, and licorice. In the mouth there are tight-grained blue fruit, fine, powerful tannins, and a little strawberry flavor breaking loose. With air the wine reveals pencil and pepper flavors along with the structure for aging.
Yield: 40 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 40 years.
Vinification: 21 days skin maceration in temperature controlled concrete vats
Ageing: 9 months oak aging -5% new French oak from Seguin Moreau cooper and 95% of 1 year old barrels.
Delicious with roast meat, grilled vegetables, strong cheese and chocolate desserts.