Washington Wine Club – September 2018

This month we feature two wines from the same producer, Woodinville’s Avennia. Winemaker Chris Peterson will join us in the shop for one of our Saturday tastings this fall.

2015 Avennia, Valery, $49.75

Winery info: Avennia co-founders Chris Peterson and Marty Taucher met at DeLille Cellars where Chris had been assistant winemaker for seven years. Their goal in establishing Avennia was to make wines that evoke clarity of place, of type, and of purpose. They released their first vintage in 2012 and the winery quickly garnered attention as one of the state’s “rising stars.” Today Avennia is considered one of the top wineries in Washington. Chris Peterson was recently honored as Seattle Magazine’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year.

Winemaker: Chris Peterson. He was one of the first graduates of Walla Walla College’s Enology and Viticulture program, and stayed on for several years as teaching assistant to the legendary Stan Clarke.

Grapes: 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Aged 20 months in 20% new French oak. Valery is named for the Patron Saint of Wine in the St. Emilion region of Bordeaux, the inspiration for this wine.

Vineyard source: Merlot: Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley (1986 planting); Cab Franc: Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills (1997 planting).

Flavor profile: Silky and elegant, with rich notes of plums, fresh herbs, and cocoa powder, and a touch of earthiness from the Cab Franc. It is very complex and aromatic, with a long, lingering finish.

Production/Availability: 250 cases. The supply tends to last about six to eight months from release.

Drinkability: Though fresh and lovely now, it should age nicely for 8-12 years from vintage.

Food Pairing: As with any good Bordeaux blend, this would be perfect with a rich, juicy steak or similar hearty fare.

2015 Avennia, Justine, $38

Grapes: 55% Grenache, 32% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah. Justine is a reflection of their belief that Washington is capable of producing world-class blends from Southern Rhône grape varieties.

Vineyard sources: Upland Vineyard (Grenache), Kiona Heart of the Hill (Mourvèdre), Oldfield Vineyard (Syrah). Aged 16 months in 100% neutral French oak.

Flavor profile: Like its namesake, “a heroine from recent literature,” the winery says, this wine is “dark, seductive, and complex, with a chasm of depth.” We found it plush, silky, and utterly lovely. It has deep, rich aromas and flavors of dark fruit with savory, herbal notes from the Mourvèdre.

Production/Availability: 575 cases. Most years the supply lasts about six to eight months from release.

Drinkability: It is drinking beautifully now or you could enjoy it anytime over the next three to five years.

Food Pairing: Perfect for savory foods like roasts, or dishes with seasonal mushrooms.