One of the top Woodinville wineries, Avennia is the partnership between superstar winemaker, Chris Peterson, formerly of DeLille fame, and former Microsoft exec, Marty Taucher. Both are downright awesome guys to chat wine with. The initial idea behind Avennia was based on a meeting between the two in 2009 at North Seattle’s Fiddlers Inn, where they connected their respective strengths and experiences to create their partnership. By the end of 2010, 16 tons of fruit were transformed to wine and the first releases were met with resounding acclaim. Avennia sources from some of the top vineyards in the state, including Boushey and Champoux.
Winemaker Chris Peterson is a hugely talented guy. Soft-spoken and thoughtful, Chris crafts some of the state’s best Rose, a downright killer Sauvignon Blanc and a truly outstanding range of red wines. While tasting with he and Marty we had the great opportunity to try some of the older bottles of their acclaimed ‘Sestina’ Red Wine, which is their left bank style (Cabernet based) red wine. I was absolutely blown away with how the 2012 Avennia ‘Sestina’ Red Wine (WWB, 95) was currently showing. The range of this wine was simply dazzling as the wine embodied everything from green peppercorn to coffee grounds to dark fruits. The current releases were highly impressive across the board, including the gorgeous 2017 Avennia Rose (WWB, 92) which had marvelous weight, tension and texture. Even better was the 2015 Avennia ‘Valery’ Red Wine (WWB, 94) which showed very pretty aromatics and a wonderful purity of fruit. Learn more about these gorgeous wines at avennia.com Here are the great wines of Avennia.
2017 Avennia Rose- The 2017 Rose by Avennia is a captivating blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Mourvdre. The wine was 75% aged for a few months in neutral barrels which adds to the textural elements to the wine. This begins with aromas of rose petals, smoke and red cherry candy. The palate has wonderful showing a great combination of tension, weight, and texture. This show a great elegance while maintaining wonderful range from red fruits and a touch of citrus. This is truly up there with the upper echelon Rose in the state. Drink 2018-2024- 92
2010 Avennia ‘Sestina’ Red Wine- Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon (73%), the wine is showing a very pretty aromatic profile with red fruits and sagebrush on the nose. The herbaceousness of the wine comes in towards the end. The palate shows wonderful weight and tension with sweet pipe tobacco, red bell pepper, coffee ground, wild blackberry, crushed mint and black tea flavors. There is a seamless quality to this wine. Still youthful, this Bordelaise effort will age gracefully over the next decade. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2011 Avennia ‘Sestina’ Red Wine- This cool vintage wine is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon (Bacchus Vineyard), 19% Merlot (Red Willow Vineyard) and 9% Cabernet Franc (Bacchus Vineyard). The wine opens with a intense bouquet of green olive tapenade, green bell pepper and wild blackberry pie. This shows good grip as the light tannins coat the mid-palate. The wine shows an old world feel, with a nice combination of red and dark fruits with sagebrush accents. Lithe and mineral driven, the wine shows a youthful component. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2012 Avennia ‘Sestina’ Red Wine- The 2012 ‘Sestina’ has the exact same blending as the 2011 ‘Sestina.’ This stunning wine is a simply intoxicating bouquet. Green peppercorn, black tea, blackberry cobbler and crushed mint with sagebrush accents mark this seductive nose. The mouthfeel is simply stunning. Black tea, blackberry, crushed mint and coffee ground flavors all beautifully come together in the glass. There is a wonderful seamless quality to this wine that has an exceedingly long life in the cellar. This is a graceful, pretty wine considering it is Cabernet based as the mouthwatering acidity marks this gorgeous wine. Given an hour in the glass the wine keeps getting better. Drink 2018-2033- 95
2012 Avennia ‘Gravura’ Red Wine- This wine is a bend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc. The nose is gorgeous with dark and red fruits and cigar ash coming through. The palate is silky smooth, showing off wonderful dark and red fruit flavors with black tea and herbal tones that connect with the lovey tension. Deep, balanced and impossible to resist right now, the wine still will have a long life in the cellar. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Avennia ‘Sestina’ Red Wine- This has a touch more Merlot blended in. The wine begins with aromas of black tea, anise, creme de cassis and sagebrush. The heady aromatics bring you back to the glass. The wine showcases a wonderful mouthfeel and texture. The wine shows mouthwatering acidity with a nice combination of dark and red fruits. The weight and tension of the wine is gorgeous. The tension is particularly striking considering the obvious heat of the vintage. Drink 2018-2040- 94
2015 Avennia ‘Valery’ Red Wine- The wine is a blend of 70% Merlot sourced from the Boushey Vineyard, and 30% Cabernet Franc sourced from the Champoux Vineyard. This begins with aromas of rose petals, red cherry candy, tar and dried sage. The wine shows a wonderful purity of fruit. With beautiful acidity the wine shows coffee ground, black tea, anise, and black cherry compete flavors. Wonderfully balanced, with light tannins, this will have an exceedingly long life in the cellar. Drink 2019-2035- 94
2015 Avennia ‘Justine’ Red Wine- The 2015 'Justine' Red Wine is flat out sexy, delivering both wonderful richness and balance. The wine opens with a bright bouquet of rose petals, red currants, red cherry preserves and suggestions of bacon fat. The weight and plush mouthfeel entices as black cherry syrup, black olive tapenade, smoked meat and blood orange flavors complete this highly impressive wine that shows wonderful range. Texturally elegant, yet rich, this awesome effort by winemaker Chris Peterson will cellar marvelously over the next decade or so. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Avennia ‘Gravura’ Red Wine- The ‘Gravura’ is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot that was sourced from some of the state’s top vineyards. The nose brings out lovely Asian spice with black currant and black tea aromatics. Rich, with a lovely mouthfeel, the wine shows off sexy mocha and crushed mint flavors, alongside some good tension. Bright and rich, make sure to give this a long decant before enjoying. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Avennia ‘Champoux Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc- This limited production wine was bottled by superstar Chris Peterson as he felt that this stood alone in blending trials. The powerful, intoxicating nose really drives this seductive bottking, black tea, star jasmine, dried sage ands blueberry compote come into play on the nose. The palate shows a silky texture and wonderful mouthfeel. Deep and rich, the wine shows a wonderful combination of blue and dark fruits with herbal elements rounding out this gorgeous wine. The herbal qualities are gorgeous. Silky and seductive, enjoy this great wine over the next fifteen to twenty years. Drink 2019-2035- 94