Bottle Notes

Avennia Winter 2014 Release Party

Avennia was founded in 2012 by Partner/Winemaker Chris Peterson and Managing Partner Marty Taucher. Chris was the first graduate of Walla Walla Community College’s Enology & Viticulture program, and spent the better part of the last decade making wine at Delille Cellars. Chris and Marty’s appreciation for Old World winemaking is reflected in the name: Avennia is inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon.

This past Saturday I made the trip out to Woodinville to attend the Avennia open house. The featured wines were the 2011 Gravura and Sestina. Also being poured were the Justine, Arnaut and Oliane.

Below are brief notes on the two new releases.

2011 Gravura – 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc. The fruit is from Angela’s, Red Willow, Dionysus, Klipsun and Bacchus Vineyards. The Gravura sees less new oak than the Sestina and is sourced from younger vines. Bell pepper and plum on the nose. Currants, leather, graphite, cherries and cassis on the palate. Really drinking great but I suspect this will benefit from several years in the cellar. A great value at $35. My rating: 91 points.

2011 Sestina – 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc. The fruit is from Bacchus and Red Willow Vineyards. Toasty oak on the nose. Great structure. Tobacco, pencil and dark fruits on the palate. Rich and plush with a long finish and fine grained tannins. Cellar for at least 4-6 years. $55 at the winery. My rating: 93 points.

These bottles deserve a place alongside wines like Woodward Canyon Artists Series and Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz for delivering world class Bordeaux style wines in the $35-$55 price range.

Please keep in mind these are just initial impressions based on small pours in a crowded tasting room.

Avennia got some well deserved press after faring well in the “Washington verse the World” seminar at Taste of Washington. Delay in signing up for the mailing list at your own peril!

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