Avennia Gravura 2018
This wine opens with evocative notes of black cherry, plum, pipe tobacco, incense, crushed herbs, and a distinct note of graphite that brings Bordeaux wines to mind. Rich and interesting on the palate, with concentrated dark red fruits, fresh earth, mocha, and alluvial minerals. A lively acidity freshens the palate, which finishes with fine grained tannins, making the wine a great food match. Drink 2022-2032.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Checking in as a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Gravura gives up a big, rich, Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated nose of darker currants, leafy herbs, graphite, and damp earth. It shows more floral and sappy herb notes with time in the glass and is wonderfully complex. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has sweet tannins, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a charming, undeniably delicious, and ready-to-go profile that should still keep for a decade.
A full-bodied red with aromas of black plum, black cherry, chocolate, mocha and tar. Seductively spiced and polished with firm, creamy tannins, framing a plush core of dark fruit and chocolate. Flavorful, rounded finish. 48% cabernet sauvignon, 40% merlot and 12 % cabernet franc. Drink or hold.
Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 48% of this wine, with Merlot another 40% and the rest Cabernet Franc. Coming from top sites Dionysus, Bacchus, Red Willow, Klipsun and Boushey, it’s all about sophistication, with its aromas and flavors of cherry, dried herbs, plum, leaf and graphite. The balance of the restrained but action-packed fruit flavors is exquisite. The finish sticks around. Editors’ Choice.
Avennia is inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon, and signifies for us the heart of Old World winemaking. The wines are designed to tease rather than flaunt; pique interest, not beg for attention. They stand for elegance, delicacy, purity. The wines are made to enhance conversation, not dominate it, and will be a welcome guest at the table.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.