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Abeja Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2016

Complex and compelling, this estate-grown Syrah sends up smoky notes of cured meat, nougat and caramel. Black cherry fruit anchors the barrel notes, and it just gets more and more delicious as it winds its way across the palate. This demonstrates classy winemaking and perfect balance.

The fruit for this wine is grown at an elevation of 1310 feet on the grounds of the Winery. The higher elevation and the proximity to the Blue Mountains, gives this vineyard a longer, cooler ripening season than most other areas of the Walla Walla Appellation. The cooler site results in a style much like that of a classic Northern Rhone with complexity and balance without the concentration and higher alcohol levels of Syrah produced in warmer areas.

 



Avennia Arnaut Syrah 2017

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 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


 

 94 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

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.

Review:

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

 95 Points
Avennia Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (magnum)

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.

Review:

"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is 100% Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon that will spend roughly 20 months in close to 100% new French oak. Blackcurrants, smoked herbs, chocolate, and graphite notes all give way to a full-bodied, plump, rich, concentrated effort that's going to be better with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 94-96 pts

Babylons Peak Chenin Blanc 2018

Babylons Peak Chenin Blanc is made from 100 percent Chenin Blanc.

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.


The Chenin Blanc grapes were picked from very old dryland bushvine vineyards. The vineyard grows on weathered granite soils, contributing to the flavor of the grapes and mineral character of the wine. Production is limited to 5 tons/ha.
The grapes were harvest by hand at 22.1°B. The grapes were destalked and lightly crushed. Only the first 450 litres free-run juice per ton were fermented in stainless steel tanks at a cold temperature (10-12°C) for 21 days. The wines was left on the fermentation lees until bottling.

A crisp, fresh and fruity Chenin Blanc from low-yield dryland bushvines.

Pairs with salads, seafood, chicken and other light dishes. The perfect wine for every occasion.


Babylons Peak Paardeberg Shiraz 2018

Babylons Peak Paardeberg Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz. 

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.

A classic Shiraz with dark fruit, violets and white pepper. An elegant wine with ripe tannins and a lingering aftertaste.

The grapes were harvested by hand. The grapes were 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 14 months in 225 litre French oak barrels until bottling.

Pairs with rich and creamy meat dishes eg. oxtail and venison.

Babylons Peak Pinotage 2017

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.

Corrine Perchaud Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupin 2017

Corrine Perchaud Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupin is 100 percent Chardonnay.

 

The vineyard The plots are on the Vaucoupin Chichée village. They are very steep and facing south, their average age is 40 years. The total area is 1.45 hectares. The vines are planted on soil Kimmeridgian marl consisting clay and limestone with dominant clay. Winemaking After a slight settling, the juice is put in to achieve its fermentation tank alcoholic and malolactic. It follows a long aging on lees to bring a maximum of complexity of aromas and flavors. If necessary, we make a collage to bentonite to remove proteins and a passing cold which eliminates tartar crystals. Then we perform a tangential filtration is the filtration method most friendly to wine.

The wine will be bottled 16 months after harvest. The relatively high temperatures at the end of winter allowed an early bud vines in early March. With a hot, dry spring flower took place in good conditions. In July, a hailstorm located did some damage to our Fourchaume plot. July and early August, rainy and stormy brought the water needed for the vineyards. The dry and sunny weather of the second half of August brought the grapes to maturity. The harvest began on September 2 under clement skies.

Pairs well with seafood, shellfish.

Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Origines 2017

Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Origines is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah

Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).

Deep and brilliant, purple-red colour. An exciting nose with aromas of black fruit (blackcurrant, cherry) spices and vanilla. This great aromatic complexity is found on the palate : the spices and ripe fruit appear with an elegant woodiness and harmonious tannins. The finish has good aromatic length and introduces a touch of liquorice and pepper.

A terrific Châteauneuf du Pape with great concentration and finesse.

Best between 2 and 20 years. Best to decant if young (less than 5 years old).

Soil type Extreme north of Châteauneuf du Pape. This plateau is made with a high quantity of red clay mixed with rocks. This area is considerated to be one of the best to produce rich and powerful red wines. By definition, LES ORIGINES will always deliver a great complexity and ageing potential. Winemaking & ageing Harvest is sorted by hand, destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in vats (grenache) and in oak casks (syrah and mourvèdre).


 Review:

"The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Origines takes things up a notch on the serious scale and has a much more concentrated, focused, structured style. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah that saw 50% new barrels, it offers a rich, concentrated, focused texture, notes of black raspberries, roasted garrigue, pepper, and tons of minerality, building tannins, and outstanding length. The new oak is beautifully integrated, it’s perfectly balanced, and it’s one of those wines that has a kiss of modern character yet stays firmly planted in the Southern Rhône."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 95+ pts


 95 Points
Introvert Cabernet Sauvignon AVA CA 2017

A very balanced and refined Cabernet with blackberry, blackcurrant and floral character. Medium-to full-bodied, subtle and complex. Very drinkable and approachable, this wine is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Keermont Red Blend 2014

Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot

The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.

Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.  

All grapes are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.

Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration

Review:


"The 2014 Estate Reserve is a blend of 32% Merlot and 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remainder made up of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah. It begins soft and shy on the nose and the palate moves to the bolder side, with dark-fruited expression and dusty, floral minerality. Medium to full-bodied, it's focused and structured with spicy tones across the mid-palate. The wine ends with focused, grippy tannins on the long finish and it should age well. 14,229 bottles were made. - Anthony Mueller"


- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 90 pts

 

 Wine Advocate: 90
Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek 2017

Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek is 100% Chardonnay

Our Cold Creek Chardonnay is grown in the slightly cooler microclimate of the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros district to the west, where thick fog and cool marine winds protect its tender skins. Indigenous to the Burgundy region of France, Clones 15 and 95 at a 50:50 ratio exhibit an approachable style and luminous, golden color.

Tasting Notes: The appearance of golden straw leads you through an aromatic journey with notes of tropical fruits, sweet nectarine, melon, and vanilla. The wine has flavors of jasmine, citrus, and ripe Fuji apple that are complemented by a creamy mouthfeel and hints of lemon curd. The finish lingers on the palate, making you yearn for the next sip.

Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay

50% Malolactic Fermentation

Review:


Laird Pinot Grigio Cold Creek 2018

Laird Pinot Grigio Cold Creek is made from 100 percent Pinot Grigio. 

The Laird Family’s Cold Creek Ranch is a 300 acre vineyard located on the Sonoma side of the Carneros district. The cooling sea breezes off the San Pablo Bay are perfectly suited for Pinot Grigio as well as Chardonnay, two grape varieties that thrive in this special vineyard.

Tasting Notes: The clear yellow sapphire hue sparkles in the sunlight, with inviting aromas of juicy passionfruit, honeysuckle and Juicy Fruit gum. The palate is balanced with medium acid and enticing flavors of melon, apricot, vanilla, and subtle mineralty, leading to a focused, mouthwatering finish.

Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros (Sonoma)

Laird Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2018

Laird Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc

Vineyard: 100% Big Ranch Road
Appellation: Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley and Rutherford
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

15% of Big Ranch fermented in Neutral Oak barrels + 2% of Smith Ranch fermented in Neutral Oak Barrels.

This lively and prolific varietal thrives in alluvial deposits composed of gravelly sand and gravelly loam, with good water retention and moderate fertility. Our Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is crafted in an approachable, fruit-forward style that is typical of the varietal and expressive of its terroir.

Tasting Notes: Translucent gold color leads to notes of juicy ripe pineapple, jasmine, Kaffir lime and Juicy Fruit gum entice the nose. Balanced, yet vibrant body of acidity tantalizes the palate with pineapple, passion fruit and Charentais Melon; a refreshing layer of minerality hits your mid-palate. The elegant, floral finish opens into a complex balance of white peaches, nectarines.

Lismore Pinot Noir 2017

Lismore Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir

Complex bouquet of crushed rose petals, wild jasmine and fresh French herbs followed by a palate full of cranberry, raspberry and a long savory finish.


The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness. 30% whole bunch fermented in large 5000 liter vats with gentle pump-overs twice a day. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression and structure of this wine. The free run wine was drained off and the fermented grapes were then pressed in a traditional wooden basket press. The wine was racked into 225, 300 and 500 liter barrels where malolactic fermentation took place and the wine was aged for 10 months. 35% new French oak was used.

Review:

"On the nose, the 2017 Pinot Noir begins with classic dusty red fruit with subtle red spice tones and hints of oak. On the palate, the wine is just slightly tart, revealing some fresh, zippy cranberry tones with orange spice that lingers through to the finish. The mouthfeel is something like that from the Willamette Valley, where it has a quiet strength at its core, with complex fruit and soft earthy tones. The finish is long and shows great focus and balance. It's beautiful now, but I know it will get better with age. Be patient and let it rest. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 92+ pts



 Wine Advocate: 92
Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2019


Redolent of strawberries and roses, fragrant and medium bodied. Refreshing, tart finish.

Average age of the vines: 30 years old (between 20 and 60 years old). Skin contact maceration: between 2 and 5 days depending on the parcels.

Beaujolais-Nouveau has been very popular with almost every Thanksgiving dish - from turkey to ham, green beans to mashed potatoes, and gravy to cranberry sauce.

Manoir du Carra Bistrot Beaujolais-Villages 2018

Manoir du Carra Bistrot Beaujolais-Villages is made from 100 percent Gamay.

From Granitic and sandy soils, the Beaujolais-Villages carra Bistrot exhibits intense color, with hints of cherry and garnet, and to reveal aromas of red fruit dominated by cassis and strawberry. This Cuvée was specially made for the Parisian Bistrots willing to offer easy drinking wines, with enough body to withstand local Cuisine from the Beaujolais region.

Produced from a selection of old vines (50-70 years old). Manual harvest; selection of the best grapes using a sorting table; semi-carbonic maceration for 10-12 days. No filtration. Egg white fining.

Great with coq au vin (Chicken cooked in a red wine sauce) or charcuterie (garlic sausage, dry sausage).

Octopoda Pinot Noir Russian River 2018

Octopoda Pinot Noir Russian River is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

10 months in 40% new French oak

Beautiful garnet color with aromas of bing cherry, red raspberry, baking spice and subtle vanilla notes. On the palate, flavors are of concentrated red and blue fruit, with a core of cherry and dark raspberry with purple violet floral notes. Medium bodied with balanced acidity that lifts the flavors

Palacio del Burgo Crianza 2016


Palacio del Burgo Crianza is made from 90% Tempranillo & 10% Graciano

Palacio de Burgo's Crianza blends the concept of the intense fruity young wines traditionally made in Rioja and the old world wine making style that has made the region famous. The result is a complex wine that impresses for its intensity right from the moment it is poured in the glass.-Mike Good, Timeless Wines


Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature; aged in American oak barrels for 12 months.
Red ruby colored wine with violet tones; well-balanced, black fruit, vanilla and coconut flavors. Powerful, complex and silky smooth…classic old style Rioja at a bargain price.

Pairs well with aged cheeses and grilled meats

 


  (aged for a year in new and used American oak barrels) Brilliant violet color. Fragrant, oak-spiced dark berries, cherry preserves and a hint of candied flowers on the nose. Blends depth and energy smoothly, offering ripe boysenberry, cherry-cola and coconut flavors and a touch of smokiness. Closes spicy, broad and long, with smooth tannins and lingering florality. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 90 pts

You would be happy to open this, even if oak dominates the nose. It's a lovely wine with cassis and bramble and a long, smoky finish."
- 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards, 90 pts, SILVER MEDAL

Quinta de Fafide Douro Reserva 2017

Grape Varietals: Touriga Nacional (60%), Tinta Roriz/Tempranillo (25%) and Touriga Franca (15%)

Quinta de Fafide estate is located on the outskirts of São João da Pesqueira, at an altitude between 550 and 650 meters. The grapes are generally harvested in October, with the altitude allowing them to ripen without water stress. Extremely fresh, this wine shows the freshness of the grapes. A very intense, elegant aroma where red berry and plum jam dominate, perfectly balanced with notes from ageing in new American oak barrels. Excellent tannins on the palate, with a long and lasting finish.

ORIGIN: Grapes exclusively from the estate, Schist soil, located around São João da Pesqueira, at an average altitude of 550 meters, with mainly exposure to East / South.

VINIFICATION: Hand-picked grapes, were fully destemmed and immediatly crushed. The grapes were fermented by grape variety with rigorous selection, so the final blend was what we wanted. This is the Old World of making wine, by selecting grapes by vineyard and lots in the winery. Fermentation in small stainless steel vats, with temperatures around 28 ºC. Smooth and controlled maceration, to get elegant and aromatic wines.

AGEING: Part of the wine ages 12 months in second and third use American oak barrels.

APPELLATION: DOC Douro
ALCOHOL: 14%
pH 3,59
TOTAL ACIDITY: 5,0 g/dm
TOTAL SUGARS: 0,6 g/dm

Serve with red meat, game, strong cheeses, spicy meat dishes.



 
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Abeja Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2016

Complex and compelling, this estate-grown Syrah sends up smoky notes of cured meat, nougat and caramel. Black cherry fruit anchors the barrel notes, and it just gets more and more delicious as it winds its way across the palate. This demonstrates classy winemaking and perfect balance.

The fruit for this wine is grown at an elevation of 1310 feet on the grounds of the Winery. The higher elevation and the proximity to the Blue Mountains, gives this vineyard a longer, cooler ripening season than most other areas of the Walla Walla Appellation. The cooler site results in a style much like that of a classic Northern Rhone with complexity and balance without the concentration and higher alcohol levels of Syrah produced in warmer areas.