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.
Babylons Peak Pinotage is made from 100 percent Pinotage.
Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.
Dark red color, with ripe plums and mocha on the nose. Dark fruit followed by spice on the palate. A well balanced wine with smooth integrated tannins.
The Pinotage is dryland bushvines, planted on the highest south-east facing granite slopes on the farm. Due to its unique terroir, this vineyard ripens slowly over a very long period. This results in very dark color, soft tannins and good flavor compounds. The baboons normally harvest their quantity first and we pick the rest.
The grapes were harvested by hand at 25,6°B.and destalked only. No crushing was done. Cold maceration was done before fermentation started in open fermenters. The grapes fermented between 24-26°C for 5-7 days, after which the wine was taken to barrels where it went through malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine spent 12 months in 225 liter French oak barrels until bottling.
Pairs with lamb, bobotie and braaied red meat.
"Semi-opaque. An outstanding value in South African Pinotage, the 2017 vintage shows an effusive nose of dark cherry, chocolate and tobacco. It’s big and rich in the mouth with flavors that evoke black raspberry and dark cocoa powder. Quite ripe in style with a long finish. At 14.5° alcohol, it’s a big wine. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 90+ pts
MCV Red Wine is made from Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre & Zinfandel .
This is a fantastic everyday wine. It pairs with a wide variety of foods and is great all by itself.
Aromas of blackberry, vanilla, white pepper, granite, rainier cherry and mocha. Flavors of cherry cola, dark chocolate, graphite, black coffee and pink peppercorn.
Grapes were processed on the same day they arrived at the winery. Sorting table juice was discarded. Post de-stemmer juice was used for the Rosé. Lots were fermented in 2 ton macrobins. A variety of yeasts were used, including some wild fermentations. Lots were cold soaked between 3 -7 days. Fermentation took an average of 12 days. Some lots received extended maceration. Some lots were pressed directly into barrel and some into tank to settle. High press was separated out. The wine was aged in oak barrels for 15 months.
Pair with Grilled New York with sautéed mushrooms. Stuffed portabella mushrooms. Pasta Carbonara. Pork chops coated with coffee and rosemary. Herb crusted lamb chops.
"Very dark in the glass, this bottling by Matt Villard pops on the nose with blackberry sorbet, wet slate, seared oak and a hint of mint. Earth and fruit converge on the palate, offering berries, sagebrush and a touch of smoke. It's a hearty yet balanced glass of wine. MATT KETTMANN"
- Wine Enthusiast (November 2019), 91 pts
Vitanza Quadrimendo is made from 50% Sangiovese Grosso, and 50% Merlot
This wine is flavorful and complex with a good backbone of acid and tannin.
Deep red ruby color. Intense aromas with characteristic peppery notes. Dry, tannic and powerful but with a smooth body.
Total aging time was 12 months in French oak, and 12 months bottle refinement.
"Plenty of spice, chili and berry character with hints of cedar and dried mushrooms. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of sangiovese and merlot. Drink now or hold."
- Jamessuckling.com (August 2015), 92 pts
This wine is Kosher (Mevushal).
Vignac Bordeaux Kosher is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.
Red and dark fruits, peppery aromas. Elegante structure. Full bodie
Traditionnal vinification. Long maceration to extract colors and structure. 10% of the wine was aged in French Oak barrel in order to bring a little complexity and spice.
Calcareous gravels deposited by the Tunuyan river in the South of Valle de Uco and by the Las Tunas river in the North of Valle de Uco have created the two most promising growing areas of Mendoza, which are only now being developed and explored, bringing a new dimension to the wines of Argentina.
Aromas of black fruit and spices blended with mineral, graphite notes and freshness typical of calcareous soils. The palate demonstrates the power of Gualtallary combined with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine finessed texture, which is tight and refreshing.
Vineyard: This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the two outstanding subregions of Valle de Uco - the power and structure of Gualtallary with the elegance and freshness of Paraje Altamira. 20-year old vines.
Soil: Sandy with calcium carbonate-coated fine gravel up to 45 cm deep
Vinification techniques are performed in the most gentle way, avoiding the use of enzymes and must amendments. Fermentation is performed with native yeast only.
Superb with grilled red meat and grilled vegetable (Argentinean Asado).
Rinaldi Celle Monferrato Rosso is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon - 20 years old vines
Celle is the name of the vineyard and literally means prison. But the roots of its name sink in history, since in 1800 the tradition wanted that in the best hill of the territory everybody had small pieces of land called "cells".
The wine shows a very nice vibrant red color with glints of bordeaux. It reveals the typical and beautiful intensity of the Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is spicy and the palate is very smooth and long. There is a balance of acidity with sweet tannins and red fruits notes. It's a very fresh wine.
The end of the alcoholic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels. Aging for 4 months.
Pairs well with game dishes and strong cheese.
Terra Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Importers Reserve 2012 is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
The color is a deep red. The nose is lifted with delightful floral notes of wild roses. In addition the nose also shows characters of currants, green beans and roasted capsicum. the palate has intense blackcurrant fruit complimented by coffee, nutmeg and dried herbs. The palate is medium bodied with sweet berry fruits right through to the finish. The seamless tannins are soft and silky, adding further complexity to this well balanced wine.
Drink this one over the next 5 to 7 years.
Tamarack Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked for 24 to 72 hours, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that compose the Cabernet Sauvignon are kept separate for at least one year before they are blended.
A warm summer led to an early start to harvest, followed by a stretch of lower than average temperatures in late September that slowed ripening so grapes hung longer without sugars skyrocketing, providing balance, more flavor development and concentration. A long but successful harvest!
Full bodied with black currant jam, honey glazed dates and black peppered seasoned T-bone steak aromas intertwined with piercing boysenberry, rosemary rack of lamb, balsamic, blue cheese, bacon wrapped figs and intriguing tannins extended out over an intricate and balanced finish.