Avennia Winery: An Impressive Debut



By Kori ~ September 10th, 2012.

Managing partner Marty Taucher and winemaker/partner Chris Peterson founded Avennia Winery in 2010. Located in Woodinville, Washington, Avennia’s first wines were released this past weekend. And, folks, an impressive debut it was. In my opinion, Avennia is the most exciting new Washington winery since Rasa Vineyards burst onto the scene a few years ago.

The winery name was inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon and is a nod to Old World winemaking. Winemaker Chris Peterson, who spent eight years crafting award-winning wines at DeLille Cellars, is passionate about Old World winemaking techniques and strives to make wines with structure and elegance. A graduate of the University of Washington, Chris went on to become the first graduate of Walla Walla Community College’s Enology and Viticulture program. Even though Avennia is a new winery, Chris’s experience and contacts in the industry have given them a leg up on most start-ups. Because he is a proven and respected winemaker, Avennia has been able to source grapes from some of the top vineyards in Washington State which are not available to most new wineries. The impressive list of vineyard sources for their first releases includes Boushey Vineyards, Force Majeure Vineyard (formerly Grand Rêve), Red Willow Vineyard, Bacchus Vineyard (part of Sagemoor Vineyards), and Klipsun Vineyard. Marty Taucher is Avennia’s managing partner and described by Chris as the “business guy.” He spent the majority of his career in Public Relations and Marketing at Microsoft. Together, Chris and Marty make a great team. Their goal is to produce about 4,000 cases annually.

Avennia’s inaugural releases this month include the 2011 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc, the 2010 Parapine Syrah, and the 2010 Arnaut Syrah. In February, they will release their two Red Wine Bordeaux-style Blends, the 2010 Gravura and the 2010 Sestina. Recently, we had the pleasure to visit with Chris and Marty and taste through all five of these wines as well as a few barrel samples. All five wines are excellent, but we were especially impressed with the 2010 Arnaut Syrah and 2010 Sestina Red Wine. Both are outstanding and should only improve with additional time to age.

Avennia wines are offered on an allocated basis to their mailing list members. While you may find some of their wines elsewhere, I highly encourage you to get on their mailing list now before it closes and you are out of luck. These wines are destined for stardom, and they also deliver serious bang for your buck. While not inexpensive, they are worth every penny. And, I must say, it is refreshing to see a new winery, with an accomplished winemaker and impressive vineyard sources, not pricing their wines out of the range of their consumers. Other than release events for mailing list members, the winery is not open to the public.

2011 Avennia Oliane Sauvignon Blanc (Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Nice nose with grapefruit and mineral aromas. More grapefruit and mineral as well as lime come through on the palate. Medium-bodied and dry with crisp acidity and a creamy mouthfeel. Well-balanced with a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $25

2010 Avennia Parapine Syrah (Yakima Valley, Washington): 100% Syrah. Deep, dark purple black. Aromatic with black fruit, herbs, earth, bacon, and lavender notes on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and high tannins. Well-balanced with a long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $35

2010 Avennia Arnaut Syrah (Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 100% Syrah. Deep, dark purple. Gorgeous nose with earth, licorice, smoked meat, and black fruit aromas. Mineral, herbs, smoked meat, blackberry, and black cherry come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and high, silky tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a very long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $45

2010 Avennia Gravura Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purplish red. Red and black fruit, black cherry, herbs, and sage come through on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $35 [to be released February 2013]

2010 Avennia Sestina Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purplish red. Gorgeous nose with black fruit, tobacco, licorice, and pencil lead aromas and flavors. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and chewy tannins. Extremely well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish. Should get even better with additional time in the bottle before release.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $50 [to be released February 2013]


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25

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