Washington Wine Club – July 2022

2019 Avennia, Gravura, $39.75

Winery info: Chris Peterson worked for years at DeLille Cellars before launching Avennia.      

His Woodinville-based winery began garnering much attention, locally and nationally, soon after its first release in 2012, and he quickly earned a reputation as one of the state’s rising stars. Chris aims to make wines that evoke clarity of place, of type, and of purpose and was named Seattle Magazine’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year. The name of this wine, Gravura, is a reference to both an artisan printing technique and to the Graves region of Bordeaux, where blends such as this wine are typical.

Winemaker: Chris Peterson

Grapes: 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. Aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Vineyards: From Dionysus, Bacchus, Red Willow, Weinbau, and Boushey vineyards.

Flavor profile: Chris says he designs this wine to be “generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.” It is smooth and seamless, with aromas and flavors of dark fruit, herbs, and a hint of espresso. With lively acidity, and gravelly minerality.

Availability: 527 cases made. It should be available until early fall.

Drinking window: It is delicious now but could age for another 12 years or so.

Food pairing: Bordeaux blends are perfect for meat dishes, such as rib eye steak or lamb, but it would also pair well with hearty mushroom dishes.

2017 Five Star Cellars, Supernova, $49.75

Winery info: Walla Walla’s Five Star Cellars was founded in 2000 by the Huse family. Winemaking passed from father (Dave) to son (Matt), and in 2010 they brought on Cameron Rushton as assistant winemaker (he has since become a part owner as well). It had been a long time since we’d tasted their wines, and we remembered them as being quite big, with plenty of new oak in the early days. But Cameron came by recently to pour their current releases and we were wowed by the nuance and finesse of their whole line up. We’re glad to reconnect with this long-time Walla Walla winery.

Winemaker: Matt Huse and Cameron Rushton

Grapes: 63% Petit Verdot and 37% Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 30% new French, Hungarian, and Russian oak.

Vineyards: The Cab Franc comes from an old planting in Seven Hills and the Petit Verdot from Frasier Bluff, a small vineyard tucked behind Leonetti’s Loess Vineyard. Both are in the Walla Walla Valley.

Flavor profile: This is a dark, intense, and expressive wine, with rich notes of blackberry, plum, and chocolate, softened by the savory, spicy aromas and flavors of the Cab Franc. The tannins are balanced and well integrated.

Availability: 200 cases made. This vintage is still in good supply at the moment.

Drinking window: Give it a year or two to develop, then enjoy anytime up to 10 to 12 years from vintage.

Food pairing: This bold wine is perfect for red meat dishes—anything from prime rib to your favorite holiday dinner. Or you could pair it with grilled eggplant or carbonara.