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Amavi Cellars & Pepper Bridge - Tasting April 2023

The two labels Amavi Cellars & Pepper Bridge are owned and operated by three families - McKibbens, the Murphys, and the Pellets. The winemaking is led by director Jean-François Pellet, and production winemaker Horacio Enriquez. Sourcing is from their Estate vineyards: Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, Les Collines, Octave, Goff, Stone Valley and Summit View. Pepper Bridge is focused on Bordeaux varietals and blends, and tending to source from the older vines, while Amavi expands into Syrahs, and offers a great value wine.

Amavi - 2022 Syrah 9% Grenache. Well balanced Syrah, dark fruit and plenty of white pepper. Structured well and balanced with minerality. Finish is long with drying tannins. Good age ability. $42. Score 94. Amavi - 2022 Rose 100% Cabernet Franc. Bright nose of lemon and mineral. Grapefruit forward, smooth and full mouthfeel, gratifying with a clean finish, but lingering fruit with slight perfume. $28. Score 94. Pepper Bridge - 2022 Sauvignon Blanc 10 % Semillon. Concrete egg and neutral french oak, touch of new oak. Enticing nose of grapefruit, ripe peaches. The body is light medium, with pleasant coating mouthfeel with flavors of lime, lemon, nectarine. Refreshing. $36. Score 93. Amavi - 2020 Syrah, Stone Valley Complex aromas of cigar, savory herb, white pepper, tea leaves and light caramel, dark fruit. Light on the palate, with stems, white pepper, blueberries and grippy tannins. Promising with time. $36. Score 92.

Amavi - 2021 Ceres 56% Cab Franc 44% Malbec. A creative blend with plenty of black pepper, dark cherries and vanilla, dusty tannins with lingering finish. $50. Score 94. Pepper Bridge - 2018 Merlot 13 % cab franc, 6% malbec. Dusted cocoa, chocolate nose. A vibrant and spicy merlot. Light on the palate, medium body of dark cherries and blue fruit, and sweet spice, licorice. Very well balanced with firm tannins. Incredible long finish. $65. Score 96. Amavi - 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley. 15% merlot, 5% malbec, 5% cab franc, 2% PV. A medium bodied cab with plenty of spice, white pepper, green peppercorn, blue fruit, vanillas, gripping tannins. Still young, but great price point and worth getting several bottles to cellar. $40. Score 93. Pepper Bridge - 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon 6% PV, 6% Cab Fran. Vanilla and black pepper nose. Medium body cab of blue fruit, dusty tannins with long finish of toasted oak and vanilla. $70. Score 94. Pepper Bridge - 2020 Trine An incredible balance and complex blend of 35% Cab Sauv, 26% Cab franc, 19% merlot, 5% malbec, 5% PV. Dark red and blue fruit with layers of cigar, vanilla, pink peppercorn, baking spice. Cellar worthy. $70. Score 93.

The combined lineup from Amavi & Pepper Bridge offers a nice mix of bordeaux varietals and blends, and more Washington style Syrahs, at a great value. I loved the Amavi 2020 Syrah, Amavi 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Pepper Bridge 2019 Trine. I was fortunate to taste the incredible, and limited 2018 Merlot, which was my ultimate favorite from the tasting.


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