The past 6 months have been spectacular for press and accolades for both Avennia and our Winemaker Chris Peterson. Here is a summary of our recent reviews and accolades:
June 2014 - Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague: Inside Washington Warehouse Wineries. This article features a terrific overview of some of the up and coming warehouse wineries in Woodinville with a nice photo, and tasting note for our 2011 Gravura BDX blend, “Because he has been in the Washington winemaking world for some time, Mr. Peterson has access to fruit from the state's top vineyards like Klipsun and Boushey. I was particularly impressed by the 2011 Avennia Gravura ($35), a Bordeaux-style blend made of fruit sourced from a variety of vineyards, including Klipsun and Red Willow.”
June 2014: The Wine Advocate: Jeb Dunnuck joined the Advocate in 2013 after many years of publishing the Rhone Report, a terrific quarterly newsletter, which he started in 2008. He now covers Washington State wines as part of his broader Wine Advocate responsibilities. We have had the pleasure of hosting Jeb at Avennia during his trips to the Seattle area over the last couple of years. Recently, he tasted our 2012 vintage wines from barrel, the scores of which were published in the June issue. Excerpts from the barrel tasting:
2013 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc: (90-92) “its citrus blossom, mineral and lychee style bouquet, medium-bodied richness and overall lively, yet layered and rich feel on the palate”.
2012 Arnaut Syrah: (94-96) “Arnaut is a smoking barrel sample that’s loaded with potential. Blackberry, pepper, bloody meat, salty minerality and earth are just some of the nuances here”.
2012 Justine Southern Rhone Blend: (91-93+) “Structured, firm and muscular, it gives up plenty of peppery herbs, mineral, iron, beef blood and black cherry to go with a medium to full-bodied, savory profile on the palate”.
Be sure to check out the full tasting note and more at The Wine Advocate.
In September, the press coverage picked up again, starting with a terrific reference to our Oliane Sauvignon Blanc in Jameson Fink’s Wines Without Worry Blog. Jameson posts a compelling blog and podcast. You can find a link to this particular post at jamesonfink.com.
Finally, with the strength of the local wine industry in the Seattle area, it should come as no surprise that local magazines do annual round-ups of the latest releases. Seattle Met Magazine is one of the more prominent ones and they have retained Washington Wine Report and Wine Enthusiast writer Sean Sullivan to conduct the 2014 evaluation. 700 wines were submitted and the results were published in the October issue. Avennia wines showed extraordinarily well, starting with the 2012 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc being named the #1 White Wine. To quote Sean: “Drink This -With someone you love, because you won’t want to share it with anyone else.” Our 2011 Sestina was named #3 Bordeaux style blend and the 2011 Arnaut Syrah came in at #2. The complete listings can be found Seattle Met Magazine - 100 Best Washington Wines 2014.
We are in the middle of harvest right now and will crush close to 65 tons as we continue to grow to meet the demand from our mailing list, local and national distribution partners.
Winemaker Chris Peterson’s thoughts on this year’s harvest:
“2014 will be remembered as one of the warmest vintages in Washington State. Intense summer heat developed the fruit quickly and lasted throughout the season. Each benchmark, from bud break and flowering to veraison, was reached seven to ten days ahead of normal.
Warm temperatures continued through the third week of September, ripening the grapes earlier than normal. At just under a month from start to finish, this will be the quickest harvest ever at Avennia. This year it was important to visit the vineyards as often as possible, as just a few days could mean the difference between perfectly ripe fruit and over-ripeness.
All in all, this looks to be another very good Washington vintage, with large scaled, friendly wines that should be approachable from an early age.”