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Wine from Avennia

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Wine from Avennia

The Avennia Estate
Our goal is to make wines that evoke clarity: clarity of place, clarity of type, clarity of purpose.
We believe this is best expressed by using the classic French varietals and blends, with methods passed down over generations. We work within this context to allow Washington vineyards and terroirs to distinguish themselves. Terroir is only readily appreciable in a well-formed, harmonious wine. Structure is the backbone from which beauty can radiate.

Avennia is inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon, and signifies for us the heart of Old World winemaking. Our wines are designed to tease rather than flaunt; pique interest, not beg for attention. They stand for elegance, delicacy, purity. Our wines are made to enhance conversation, not dominate it, and will be a welcome guest at the table

 

 

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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 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard 2017

Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.

This very limited bottling shows the compelling potential of Cabernet Franc from a top vineyard. Though it’s often used as a spice in Avennia's Bordeaux blends, this wine, from the legendary Champoux Vineyard, has its own unique character and complexity that convinced them to feature it alone.

“Featuring a dark garnet color, this year’s Cabernet Franc opens with dark red cherry, boysenberry, damp earth, winter mint, and hints of rose petal on the nose. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, and complex, with mulberry, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, and savory herbs, kept lively with bright acidity. One of the standouts of the vintage, this beauty can stay in the cellar another year or two, and be enjoyed over the following decade plus." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

Review:

"From a cooler site in the Horse Heaven Hills and all varietal, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, red plums, chocolate, spice, flowery incense, and cedarwood. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced on the palate, it shows the elegance and purity of the vintage yet still packs plenty of opulence and texture. It’s one of the finest expressions of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington State. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 96 pts

 96 Points
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 2017

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:

"Grenache (61%) is in the lead on this wine, followed by Mourvèdre (23%) and Syrah. Alluring aromas of raspberry, blueberry, thistle, herb, smoked meat and black pepper are followed by lush, achingly pure red and blue fruit flavors, accented by a lovely sense of spicing. It's deft but pure. Smoked meat and black pepper notes linger on the extremely long finish. The balance throughout is impressive—a complete stunner. Best from 2023 to 2030, with good life beyond that. - SEAN P. SULLIVAN"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2020), 93 pts, Editors' Choice


 Wine Enthusiast: 93
Avennia Oliane Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Avennia Oliane Sauvignon Blanc is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.


We believe Washington State can make Sauvignon Blanc that competes with any in the world. Oliane is barrel fermented in French oak using native yeast and aged on the lees for 7 months. It is bottled unfined to allow for greatest expression and complexity.

A well balanced and elegantly refreshing old world style Sauvignon Blanc.

“Leads with ripe aromas of grapefruit, Meyer lemon, peach, honey, and spring flowers. The palate is quite rich and palate coating, with stone fruits, citrus pith, crushed seashell, and sweet floral elements. A streak of minerally acidity keeps the wine focused and quenching through the finish.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

AVA: Yakima Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
pH 3.15
TA 6.8 g/L
VA 0.30 g/L
Alcohol 12.5%

Native yeast, barrel-fermentation.
5% new French oak, 10% concrete egg, 85% neutral French oak, aged 7 months on the lees.
Bottled unfined.
Vineyards:
70% Boushey Vineyard
30% Red Willow Vineyard

All Shellfish, grilled summer root vegetables, white fish.


Review:

"A blend of Boushey Vineyard and Red Willow, the 100% varietal 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Oliane offers racy, lively notes of citrus, lime, and crushed rocks. Medium-bodied, fresh, lively, yet textured, with good density, it will benefit from a year of bottle age and keep for a decade.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 91-93 pts

 93 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 Red Blend 2015

Avennia Sestina Red Blend is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% 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 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it's a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it's hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner. - William Kelley"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 237, June 29th 2018), 96 pts

Number #93 On Top 100 Cellar Selections From Wine Enthusiast 

"The flagship 2015 Sestina checks in as 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc brought up in 60% new French oak. Gorgeous notes of blackcurrants, black cherries, graphite, wet river rock, and leafy herbs all emerge from this beautifully balanced, fresh, classic wine that's still tight and backward. It's not a blockbuster but has building richness and tannin, as well as a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 95+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 96 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 2014

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:

Tasted out of barrel and a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Valery offers lots of leafy herbs, tobacco leaf, black cherries and a touch of dark chocolate in an elegant, focused, fresh style. The estate's Right Bank-styled release, it too should drink nicely in its youth, yet also evolve for 10-15 years. - Wine Advocate 91-93 Points

 Wine Advocate: 93
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
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