This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.
"The 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot (100% Merlot) is a ripe, black fruit, plum, leafy herbs and mineral-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, moderate mid-palate depth and tons of upfront charm. It's going to drink nicely through 2024."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 90 pts
"The aromas bring notes of dried herb, vanilla bean, wood spice and black cherry. The flavors are rich and luscious, supported by plump ripe tannins. The finish lingers."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2017), 91 pts
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.
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
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.
"Always an enjoyable, outstanding effort, the 2014 Grenache Besoleil offers classic notes of cherries, herbes de Provence, red plums and pepper in a fine, elegant, medium to full-bodied style. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 91 pts
Medium red. Sexy, high-toned red cherry and red berry aromas showcase the wine's Grenache component (but this vintage features the lowest percentage to date of this variety). Bright, ripe raspberry and cherry flavors are complicated by smoky and peppery nuances. A very graceful red blend with sweet tannins and excellent persistence.
-- Stephen Tanzer 91 Points
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines. 96 Points Wine Advocate
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Boich Wall Road Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pure dark fruits, plum preserves and dried blueberry notes are knit together with ribbons of crushed mineral and floral undertones, the palate is mouth coating and highlighted by ripe tannins and dense dark fruit and mineral notes. A long finish with wisps of pipe tobacco finish this exotic and expressive mountain Cabernet. Two hundred and twenty cases produced.
Vintage Notes – Marked by California’s ongoing drought, the 2014 vintage was notably early, garnering fruit with intense flavor. While vineyards throughout the valley reported pick dates up to three weeks ahead of schedule, moderate summer temperatures allowed grapes to ripen to perfection with outstanding quality and structure. Aromatic, luscious and fruit-forward, the wines of 2014 are proving ideal.
Wall Road Vineyard – This three-acre gem is located at the northern tip of the Mount Veeder AVA, due west of Oakville and the To Kalon vineyard. True to the Veeder AVA, this site delivers both the power and elegance we strive to achieve in our Mountain Cabernets. The elevation, slope orientation and well-drained soils yield fully ripened small berries with concentrated flavor.
Mount Veeder AVA – Known for its acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, this illustrious appellation produces graceful, expressive and world-renowned wine. Limited by nature, Mount Veeder’s rugged mountain terrain, high elevation and cooling influence from the San Pablo Bay allows for a long growing season that returns low, sought after yields. This results in powerful fruit with distinct berry flavors.
This is a thick, layered and leathery wine, with ample spice and complexity. Cinnamon, toast, clove, red currant and black cherry tones highlight a full-bodied robust experience of impressive integration and tamed tannins. -Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Yasa Blanco Calatayud 2014 is made from 100% old vines Macabeo (50 years of age or more) planted at an elevation up to 1,000 meters above sea level. This clean, crisp and fresh fruit-driven wine displays ripe tropical fruit aromas, rich flavors and a long lasting finish.
The Yasa Estate
Founded in 1954, Virgen de la Sierra is a grape growers co-op with 579 members, and 710 hectares (1,753 acres) of vines growing at 750 meters above sea level. The average age of the vines is close to 40 years. The principal grape variety is Garnacha (60%). Others include Macabeo or Viura (20%) and Tempranillo (16%), with the remaining 4% being a mix of experimental varieties: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
The Yasa Vineyards
The region's semi-arid climate and high altitude make for ideal growing conditions for quality Garnacha and Macabeo grapes. Hot dry summers, with a sharp shift in daytime to nighttime temperatures let grapes reach full ripeness, while maintaining good levels of acidity. The red iron-rich oils are rocky, with a mix of sand and gravel and a low amount of organic material. A thick clay subsoil helps retain moisture through the long dry summer months.
Dark and chocolate, spiced with pretty notes of allspice and clove, this wine is round and rich, bursting with ripe berries, combined with an earthy complexity and a velvety finish.
Made from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc
The wine spent 22 months on 75% new French oak with the remaining 25% second vintage French oak. Select barrels from the best forests of Taransaud, Boutes, Quintessance, and Vicard cooperages.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot, this wine seems a little green out of the gate, with aromas of herbs, cocoa, vanilla, black licorice, woodspice and black fruit. The fruit flavors display the warmth of this region, with the tannins providing some heft, stretching out over time. - Wine Enthusiast 91 Points
Tamarack Cellars’ 2011 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Reserve is an outstanding blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc that spent 22 months (each variety is kept separate until 12 months after the harvest) in 50% new and 50% once-used French oak. Classically styled, with lots of smoke tobacco, licorice and blackcurrant aromas and flavors, it has everything in the right place, in the right proportions, and is incredibly enjoyable to drink. Enjoy this medium to full-bodied, moderately tannic, balanced beauty over the coming decade, although it will probably last longer. - Robert Parker Wine Advocate 91 Points
Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Washington State Cabernet.
Acclaimed Napa Valley vintner Randy Dunn has a reputation for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. He brings more than four decades of winemaking experience to the Columbia Valley to produce Feather, his only wine made outside of California.
Tasting Notes: Deep crimson colored with pure and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon character. Generous aromas and flavors of dark fruits, violets, coffee and toasted herbs combine with a textured mid-palate to deliver a big, yet focused, wine with polished tannins and persistent finish.
Winemaking: Grapes were hand-harvested at the peak of ripeness, then lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation was underway, the cap was pumped over aggressively to extract color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump overs were handled more gently to further extract color and flavors without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 90% new Vicard French oak barrels (Randy's cooper of choice at Dunn Vineyards as well).
TA: 0.58 grams / 100ml