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Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2019

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.


Avennia Justine Red Blend 2016

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.

Review:

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

 94 Points
Avennia Justine Red Blend 2019

Avennia Justine Red Blend  61% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, and 18% 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.


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

Bursting from the glass with impeccable precision, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Willow Vineyard is the real McCoy, boasting a focused frame of fruit on the nose that shows depth and breadth in layers of aromas—blackberry, dark cherry, licorice and clove-laced spices flutter over a bed of roses. I can't stop smelling this wine! Full-bodied, the wine unfolds and expands across the palate with complexity, tight structure and beautifully managed tannins, ending with a thought-provoking and long-lingering finish. The wine has a still-tight expression that will age beautifully for years to come. It will serve you well to seek out a bottle of this world-class wine. Only 140 cases were made.
- Wine Advocate 95 Points

 Wine Advocate: 95 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 Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

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:

A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Dionysus, and Bacchus vineyards and spent 20 months in 48% new French oak barrels. A beautiful, Saint-Julien-like bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, violets, tobacco, and cedar gives way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured wine that builds incrementally on the palate, with ripe, velvety tannins, a stunning mid-palate, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's beautifully done, and while it drinks well today given its balance, purity, and texture, it's going to develop additional complexity with 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity.

Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points

 96 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
Avennia Valery Red Blend 2018

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:

The Merlot-dominated 2018 Valery (there's 11% Cabernet Franc) comes from two great vineyards, Boushey and Champoux, and spent 20 months in 28% new French oak. Deep ruby/plum-hued, with a great nose of black cherries, plums, dried herbs, and violets, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, soft tannins, and a great finish. This ripe, plump, sexy Merlot has loads of character and will keep for a decade. It has a certain Pomerol-like elegance, and I’m a fan.

Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points


 94 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 Malbec Paraje Altamira 2019

Ayni Malbec Paraje Altamira is made from 100 percent Malbec.

Ayni is the Quechua term for the principle of reciprocity, practiced for centuries by the Andean people - "in order to receive, you first have to give." Chakana's renowned Paraje Altamira vineyard, which sits 3,300 feet above sea level, bears the name Ayni & is the source of the Ayni wines.

Deep ruby-red in color with violet hints. Complex and intense bouquet, featuring blackberries, cherries and plums, with delicate floral notes and spices. Balanced and fresh; 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:

"The 2019 Malbec Ayni comes from Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley and was aged for 12 months in foudres. Unfiltered, this is an austere red of nuance and depth. The nose is very much that of the region with fresh plum, violets and thyme. The potency is tempered by the aging process in favor of subtlety and the addition of whiffs of smoke, tobacco and cedar. Juicy in the mouth with a striking chalky feel, compact flow and mild character, it is a linear wine but maintains Malbec’s smooth, voluminous nature. An elegant interpretation of a region with character. - Joaquín Hidalgo"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2021), 94 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94
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
B Leighton Olsen Bros Syrah 2018

B Leighton Olsen Bros Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah. 

Inviting, Intriguing, brooding and vivacious. Black cherry, wet earth, grilled meats, fireplace ash and black pepper take you there and then beautiful notes of seaweed, camphor and black tar finish it off in time for another sip and more exploration of this wonderful wine.

 review:

Lots of smoky and grilled-meat character to the ripe-berry highlights. It’s full-bodied with round, juicy tannins and lots of flavor and intensity. Yet, it remains fresh and vivid at the end. Vanilla touches make it even more interesting. Drink or hold.

-James Suckling 94 Points

The 2018 Syrah Olsen Brothers Vineyard, from a site in Yakima Valley, is a mix of clones that were not destemmed, and it was brought up mostly in neutral oak. It's a classic Yakima Valley Syrah with its full-bodied, rich, meaty style as well as ample darker fruits and notes of smoked game, chocolate, tapenade, and spice. It reminds me of a great vintage of Jaboulet's Domaine de Thalabert and should keep for 15 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points



 94 Points
B Leighton Petit Verdot 2016

B Leighton Petit Verdot is made from 100 percent Petit Verdot.

Beautiful, lively and focused at first approach. Expressing black cassis, blackberry, brambles and thyme combining with crushed gravel, pencil shavings and floral notes. It is a fantastic expression of Petit Verdot that is rich and velvet on the palate, all at the same time. So much depth and length it seriously takes your breath away.


Review:

Lastly, the 2016 Petit Verdot comes from a higher elevation block and was brought up in 40% new French oak. It has a great bouquet of white pepper, chocolatey dark fruits, tobacco, and a kiss of violets to go with a full-bodied, incredible elegant profile on the palate. You don’t find Petit Verdot with this level of finesse very often, and it has silky tannins, good mid-palate concentration, and a great finish. It’s another stunning wine from Leighton I’d be thrilled to drink over the coming 10-15 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points

 94 Points
B Leighton Petit Verdot 2017

B Leighton Petit Verdot is made from 100 percent Petit Verdot.

Dark and brooding. Vibrant, beautiful and tantalizes the senses with violets, black cassis, pipe tobacco and forest floor. Elegant, fresh, deep and refined. It continues with black raspberry, ocean breeze, orange zest and a touch of fresh herbs. Need I say more? Drink up, buttercup.


Review:

A spicy red, showing blackcurrant and walnut character with some new wood. It’s full-to medium-bodied with chewy fruit and a nutty finish. Drink now.

James Suckling 91 Points

Babylons Peak Cinsault 2019

Babylons Peak Cinsault is made from 100 percent Cinsault.

Medium to light bodied. Fruit driven with spicy undertones. Soft tannins and fine complexity. A fruit driven wine with lively light palate and lingering mouthfeel.

Review:


"Savory aromas of black olives, grilled meat, thyme, peppercorns and dark fruit. It’s medium-bodied with fine tannins and a flavorful, succulent and peppery palate. Drink now."


- James Suckling (December 2021), 90 pts



 90 Points
Babylons Peak Pinotage 2019

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.



Baron Ermengaud Faugeres Rouge 2019

Baron Ermengaud Faugeres Rouge is made from 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5%, Mourvèdre and 5% Carignan.

The Baron Ermengaud cuvée is named after the lord Ermengaud de Fouzilhon. In the 12 century, the Lord gave land, which was located in Laurens Village, to monks, who built a monastic barn. The monks (Benedictine and then Cistercian) used to cultivate the vineyards, using techniques that were quite wise and modern at the time. The people of Laurens enjoyed and benefited from learning their methods.

This Faugeres is dark red with shades of black cherry. A large complexity of aromas allows us to savor a mix of sun fruits and spices. This powerful and full-bodied wine, with a deep consistency, offers an intensity of ripe fruits. It has a long, rich palate on velvety tannins with raised hints of pepper.

Pairs with roast saddle of lamb with juniper berries; peppered venison with pears.

Review:

"Les Crus Faugères is the only cooperative in this appellation, managing 2,223 acres or nearly half of Faugères’ vines. It puts out a vast array of labels, including Mas Olivier, also recommended here, but Baron Ermengaud was the standout for both its 2019 and 2018 reds. Mostly syrah (80 percent), with grenache, carignan and mourvèdre, all of it hand-harvested off schist parcels, the 2019 shines in its combination of earthiness and brightness. Lively acidity and herbal notes give it a just-picked freshness that energizes the red fruit; the clarity allows a clear view of the earth, too, in shades of schist and iron. It tastes like it’s from a place, with a sense of sun and garrigue that’s transporting."
Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2021), 94 points


 94 Points
Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2019

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.

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