2015 Avennia "Gravura" Columbia Valley Bordeaux Blend (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1391607 93 points James Suckling

 Love the blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry character. Dried spices and cinnamon. Full body, polished and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Bigger style but holds together. Blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. Drink or hold.  (5/2018)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Gravura exhibits a classic bouquet of cassis, pencil shavings and rich soil, followed by a medium-bodied, velvety and layered palate, with a rich core of fruit that's attractively vibrant and already incipiently complex. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced and keenly priced Bordeaux blend that definitely impressed me. (WK)  (6/2018)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The entry-level Bordeaux blend is the 2015 Gravura, made from 47% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Cabernet Franc and aged 20 months in 70% new French oak. It's the most open-knit, sexy, and voluptuous of the 2015s and has tons of ripe red and black fruits, chocolate, earth, and assorted spicy aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully textured, drink it over the coming decade. I continue to consider Chris Peterson’s Avennia estate to be one of the best in Washington state and he’s been making world-class wines for a number of years now.  (4/2018)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 This wine is near equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Cabernet Franc. Coming from a who's who of vineyards, the aromas are expressive, with notes of leafy dried herb, graphite, raspberry, cherry, toast, scorched earth, dark coffee and mineral. The palate shows an assortment of sweet red- and black-fruit flavors that display an exquisite sense of balance and polish. It's a superb value with a long life ahead of it. (SS)  (7/2018)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Densely structured and framed by taut tannins that are balanced by refined black cherry, crushed stone and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Needs time. (TF)  (5/2018)

90 points Vinous

 Owner/winemaker Chris Peterson upped the percentage of new oak in 2015 to 70%. Full medium-dark red. Aromas of currant, blackberry and black cherry complemented by sexy oak tones. Plush, plummy and sweet, conveying a fine-grained texture but also lovely mid-palate energy. Not hugely complex but offers captivating sweetness and considerable immediate appeal, with the Merlot component softening the wine. Peterson says his model here is the Graves. (ST)  (10/2017)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The 2015 Gravura is the most hedonistic yet, with aromas of black cherry coulis, red currants, chocolate truffle, violets, and a hint of leather. Rich and palate-coating mouthfeel with dark red and black berries, mocha, and toasted hazelnuts. There is a nice streak of acidity on palate to lift the large-scaled fruit and structure. This wine is tasting great already, but will age 5-8 years at least. Gravura is our Bordeaux blend that emphasizes a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends to this one. With more Merlot in the blend and the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced."

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By: Robert Cash | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/8/2019 | Send Email
What immediately struck me upon the first sip of this outstanding Columbia Valley Bordeaux blend was just how eminently drinkable it was. The nose offers aromas of pencil lead, cassis, and chocolate as well as red and black fruit. On the palate, it is supple, with silky tannins and a delicious acidity to round everything out. Balance is the name of the game here. Terrific value!

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/28/2018 | Send Email
While Washington state undeniably has a great name for Cabernet and Bordeaux blends, this is perhaps one of the very best examples I've tasted in the last couple of years. With rich aromas of blackberry, currant, red cherry and plum, the wine transitions to a medium bodied palate with a touch of graphite and menthol to round out the silky black fruit. The tannin and acidity are seamlessly integrated already and the wine is ready to enjoy now. I'd highly recommend this Cabernet as a great alternative to Sonoma or Napa.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/11/2018 | Send Email
I was so impressed by this wine. Avennia has been on my radar for a while, but this really affirms that Washington State is one of the most exciting regions in the country for quality-driven wines. The Gravura hits all those perfect notes for me. Well-structured with an excellent balance of tannin, fruit and and acid. On the nose I found spice notes with candied cherry and plum, leading to a palate, that is broad and textured, hitting every single corner of the palate. Summing up the taste is a beautiful, slow finish with resonating red fruit tones. A level of quality that is absolutely worth checking out.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/11/2018 | Send Email
Avennia is a real staff fave here at K&L where we tend to enjoy wines with a little more elegance and poise that are food friendly and hold up well in the cellar. This is a beautiful wine from this producer that specializes in stunning Bordeaux style blends from Washington state. Highly aromatic with blue fruits, floral tones, cassis, freshly picked mint, cedar and gravelly minerals. Medium bodied with fine grained tannins. Lovely food wine, great focus and purity. Very refined and precise. Great value!

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.