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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 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

Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Blend) is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% 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.

Review:

"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."

- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts, #84 TOP 100


 95 Points
Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (magnum)

Each magnum is signed by the winemaker! 

Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.

The story of this wine - The Sestina is an ancient form of poetry from Medieval France. Just as a modern poet can fill this form with new expressions, Avennia uses the traditional Bordeaux blend to express Washington. Sestina is their vision for an old vine, complex blend where all of the components complement each other. This wine is designed for the cellar, so the emphasis is on structure, balance, and complexity.


Winemaker Tasting Notes - “Good deep ruby/garnet color, with aromas of black cherry, fresh black currant, dark mocha, cigar box, and graphite. The palate is lively and dense with mountain berries, mocha, vanilla honey, damp earth, and wildflowers. The finish shows a distinct chalky minerality and beautiful tension. This is a classically balanced and ageworthy Sestina. Drink 2025-2040.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

Review:

"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."

- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts

 95 Points
Avennia Sestina Red Blend 2016

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.

Review:

"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

 95 Points
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2016

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:

"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

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92 93 Points
Ayni Malbec Paraje Altamira 2018

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.
Irrigation: Drip 
Harvest: Manual 
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.


Review:

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


 97 Points
Ayni Malbec Paraje Altamira 2018 (magnum)

THESE ARE MAGNUM BOTTLES


Ayni Malbec Paraje Altamira is made from 100 percent Malbec.

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.
Irrigation: Drip 
Harvest: Manual 
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.


Review:

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


 97 Points
Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas 2017

Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec

Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.

Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).

Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.

Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.

Review:

"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts

"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 91
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.

Review:

"The Shiraz is our favorite of the Babylon Peak portfolio. It offers nice purity of black fruit with a licorice note on the nose and flavors of blackberry, mocha, and a touch of dried fruit. It’s softly textured with good supporting acidity and has an attractive cracked pepper spice note. Fermented with some viognier skins and matured 12-14 months in oak barrels. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 91 pts


 International Wine Review: 91
Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2018

Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is 90% Montepulciano 10% Sangiovese

Deep ruby red with violet-purple reflections.
Huge, fruity bouquet, black cherry and herb scented.
Lush currant fruit with velvety soft tannins and perfect fruit acid balance. A wine of great harmony and intensity. The finish is long and spicy.

Area of production: Torri di Torano Nuovo Harvest: October– by hand. Vinification: 15 to 18 days maceration on the skins with a daily pumping over of the juice. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel at 28-30 °C. Alcohol: 13% by vol.

Grilled or roasted white and red meats, dishes flavored with mushrooms, garlic and rosemary. Excellent with polenta dishes and game.

Bavencoff Morey Saint Denis 2016

Bavencoff Morey Saint Denis is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

This wine has a deep, dark hue. The aromas of red fruits and black berries form a dense ensemble, closely linked to woody notes that introduce nuances of vanilla, blond caramel and coffee. It has a generous power, supported by a strong tannic structure. 

Aged 18 months in French Oak Barrels

Roast lamb, rib of beef, duck breast. Burgundy cheeses such as Epoisses or Cîteaux 

Begude Bandol Rouge La Brulade 2015

"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.

Review:

This single-vineyard wine comes from a parcel that sits at 1,300 feet facing the Mediterranean sea. Its dark color, fabulous ripe fruits and perfumed character give it both richness and longevity. With 95% Mourvèdre, it has all the structure, dark tannins and spice of this grape that is at its best in this appellation. Drink this wine from 2023.

-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points Cellar Selection

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

Decanter 95 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 95 95 Points
Begude Cadet de la Begude Rouge 2018

Begude Cadet de la Begude Rouge  is made from 35% Mourvedre, 35% Grenache and 30% Cinsault.

A selection of young vines, with no oak aging. Full fruit with a fresh and provencal character.

The noble terroir of Provence and the signature of the Tari Family raised at Chateau Giscours in Margaux and at the Domaine de la Begude in Bandol - the 7th generation of vignerons - gave birth to this valiant Cadet.
A selection with a fragrance of freedom, respectful of the environment, carried by the Mistral wind and the light of the Mediterranean Sea.


Average age of the vines: 10 years
Planted on clay and limestone soils. 
Double sorting, total destemming, grapes pressuring and maceration in vats.
Aged 2 months on the lees. 
Gentle filtration before bottling.

Grilled lamb, meat cooked with sauce, southern French cuisine and tasty dishes (tajines, couscous, paellas).

Review:


This wine starts with a stalky character that develops into a richer, juicy black fruitiness. Produced from organically grown grapes, the wine is packed with berry flavors, layered with acidity and well structured. Drink from late 2020. - Roger VOSS"

- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (June/July 2020), 90 PTS


 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Cé Ma Cuvée 2016

SALE!


Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Cé Ma Cuvée is made from 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc

The wine is made with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Average age of the vines is 50 years old (everything is between 40 and 60 years old).

Cé Ma Cuvée is a tribute from Michel Lydoire to his 2 daughters:
Cé is for Céline. She is like the Merlot grape varietal. Pleasant and calm.
Ma is for Marina. She is like the Cabernet Franc grape varietal. Tough and with a lot of character.

The color is deep and inky. 
The nose is spicy, fruity and oaky with some nice vanilla and coconut aromas. 
The mouthfeel is complex, with ripe red and black fruit flavors. Some spiciness and integrated oak flavors.

The wine starts as the Vieilles vignes, but some wine is aged in 500-liter American Oak Barrels for 18 months. 
They are using a mix of different toastiness for the barrels. Some high toast and some are medium toast.

This is a fun wine that can be enjoyed with any food, charbroil burgers, grilled vegetables, cheeses ... or even with dark chocolate desserts.

Review:

 2015 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux Cé Ma Cuvée Céline Lydoire focuses this wine on Bellevue's old Merlot plots, blending in Cabernet franc from southern exposures on gravelly soils. It's her top selection, treated to 18 months in new 400-liter oak barrels; she started making it at the behest of her French customers, who wanted a step up from her cool and refreshing Cuvée Tradition. This is just as cool, but more saturated in its distinctly Castillon fruit flavor—think wild strawberries and blueberries with an earthy mineral undercurrent. That silky fruit gains its supple impression from the new oak, which boosts the textural richness. As I thought about how to score this wine, I found myself writing, "If that were from California, I'd be all over it." Absolutely. But it's also got Castillon limestone clarity. And, it's $27. Buy a case. You won't be sorry -Wine & Spirits 93 Points



Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone 2018

Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.

Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.

The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.

Situation
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.

Terroir
 On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.

In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.

The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.

We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).

As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.

Winemaking
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.

Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express

Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.

Review:

This appellation, located just south of Gigondas, always produced a Provençal, spicy wine and the 2018 Beaumes De Venise is no exception, showing a ruby/purple hue, notes of herbes de Provence, ground pepper, and garrigue, loads of raspberry and blackberry fruits, medium-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s an undeniably delicious, balanced, gulpable beauty to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 90 pts





 90 Points
Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone 2019

Bernardins Beaumes de Venise Rouge Cru Cotes du Rhone is made from 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Blanc.

Bright ruby color with cherry tinges. Complex black fruit aromas on the nose enhanced by spicy notes. Rounded palate with good length.

The wine is drinking well right now and can be kept for another 10 years.

Situation
Spreads out over the south-east side of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills, in Beaumes de Venise in the southern part of the Rhone valley.

Terroir
 On a poor sandy, hungry and arid soil consisting of tender limestone and gritty zones of sandy mollasse.

In the vineyard
The vineyards and their terroir are the essence of our wines. This is where everything starts and where we focus our efforts throughout the year. You can’t make great wine without great grapes.

The viticulture is essentially done by hand. Five people work full-time in the vineyards. They are supplemented by seasonal employees who work during bunch thinning and the harvest in order to bring out the very best in our vines. Working by hand and the attention each vine gets are fundamental. Pruning, de-budding, trellising, leaf removal and picking are thus carried out by hand with the utmost care.

We prepare the soil by using good old-fashioned ploughing. Organic compost is made from grape marc (the discarded stalks and skins).

As a way of protecting the plants, we only use phytosanitary products when necessary and within strict guidelines by staggering the treatments appropriately, to minimise the amount of chemicals used. We prefer to use as much as possible manual and organic techniques . Leaving natural grass cover, removing buds and leaves from the vines, preserving biodiversity around the vineyard: olive, almond and cypress trees, wild rosemary and capers.

Winemaking
We make two red wines at the estate. Terroir wines shaped by the two classic Côtes du Rhône varieties: Grenache and Syrah. We don’t follow any winemaking recipe but are constantly searching for the perfect expression of terroir and each vintage’s particular characteristics. We don’t go for overripe grapes and over-extraction, as we think the wine has to stay refreshing and balanced.

Leaving the wine for 15 days in concrete vats, we try to gently extract the tannins and anthocyanins essential for the wine’s structure and colour. The wine doesn’t come into any contact with wood during ageing. This way the characteristics of our terroir can fully express

Serve with a meal especially red meat, game and cheese.

Review:

"Immediately interesting on the nose, the herbs and flowers come first, thyme and lavender, then the raspberry fruit. Medium-bodied, good sense of freshness and definition to the fruit and structure, with good acidity and crispness of flavor. Fresh, savory, delicious. Great value. 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 6% Marsanne, 5% Mourvèdre, 4% Grenache Blanc, no destemming. Drinking Window 2021 - 2028 - Matt WALLS"  - Decanter (October 5th 2020), 93 pts






 93 Points
Betz Family Besoleil 2015

Blending Detail:

  • 49 % Grenache
  • 20% Syrah
  • 16% Cinsault
  • 9% Mourvêdre
  • 6% Counoise

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.

Review:

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. 
Robert Parker 91-93 Points



 Wine Advocate: 93
Betz Family Besoleil 2016

Betz Family Besoleil is made from 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault,

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.

Review:

"Attractively complex aromas of cherries, kirsch, white pepper, spice, potpourri and licorice, it's medium to full-bodied, sappy and succulent, with velvety structuring tannins and bright acids." 94 pts - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate 

"Bright raspberry and red-plum fruits with attractive depth and freshness. This has all you want in a Rhône-style blend. Good depth of flavor and focused structure." 93 pts - James Suckling

"Moving more and more from Olsen Vineyard, which is 20 miles northwest of Red Mountain (where they love working with the grower, who is proactive and responsive), the medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Besoleil is 55% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, 11% Syrah and the rest Cinsault, all aged in a mix of neutral barrels. It offers beautiful notes of red plums, blueberries, white and black pepper and herbs de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, a silky, elegant style, and integrated acidity. It's another beautiful vintage of this wine that will keep for a decade."  92 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck

 Wine Spectator: 94 93 Points
Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2017

Betz Family Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2017 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest is Petit Verdot and Merlot.

This initial question raised by this vintage of Pere de Famille is how this wine, with such a depth of color, aromatic complexity and balance of the Old World. The answer isn’t precise, but is a reflection of a remarkable Columbia Valley vintage, plus small changes in maturation and the varietal concentration of the final blend. Its inky purple color, muscular structure and plush texture all point to its New World origins. But the aromas of pure, layered black fruits, graphite, crushed rock and lavender (think St. Julien?) lead me back to the Old World. The 2012 Père de Famille has the highest level (90%) of Cabernet Sauvignon that we’ve ever used in this wine. Add to that the high concentration of Red Mountain grapes (84%), deep and structured, and it yields a wine as generous as any Cabernet we’ve made. It showed such density in barrel that we added three months barrel aging to resolve the tannins and body. It’s weighty and yet balanced, fleshy yet fine grained, powerful yet polished. And unabashedly Cabernet Sauvignon, with its black currants, anise/thyme, savory mouth feel and dusty finish. Its dimension and precision indicate long aging ability, but you might be tempted far earlier.

Review:

Medium ruby. Vibrant aromas of black fruits, violet and pepper. Densely packed and plush but also sharply delineated, with the intense black fruit and saline mineral flavors boasting terrific inner-mouth perfume; there's also an exhilarating element of wildness here. As sappy as this powerful, gripping Cabernet is, it also hints at an almost candied sweetness. (Winemaker Skinner feels that the vinification in concrete was conducive for rounding out the structure of the Red Mountain fruit in this vintage and added that the year of aging in neutral oak helped the wine's texture and allowed its fruit to come through.) Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins. This wine too is plusher and more concentrated than the 2016 version. (13.8% alcohol; two-thirds fermented in concrete; aging began in 75% new oak but the wine was moved into neutral barriques for a final 12 months)

- Stephen Tanzer 95 Points


A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot, the 2017 Pere de Famille has a rich nose of black fruit and a structured, chewy core. Medium-bodied and dense on the palate, the wine shows an impeccable balance and steadily growing tannins on the back of the mid-palate. Soft purple flowers evolve with the robust expression while still in the mouth, and the finish is bold and precise—the flavors persist with great complexity long after the wine has left the mouth. This is an age-worthy wine with 13.8% alcohol and nice balance. 1,100 cases of this simply stunning wine were made. It's a delicious wine, and I highly recommend it.

-Wine Advocate 95 Points




 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95 Wine Advocate: 95
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