These two labels are under the same umbrella, operated by three families –the McKibbens, the Murphys, and the Pellets. They source from several vineyards including Les Collines, Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, Octave, Goff, and Summit View.
We enjoyed their generous tasting, which now offers both labels in one flight for a nice comparison, with Amavi being generally lighter style wines than the Pepper Bridge line.
The tasting list is reprinted from the winery.
2021 Amavi Cellars - Sémillon
$28 Retail | $22.40 Club | $10 Glass
Aromas of lychee, bergamot, golden apple, fresh-cut grass, and white stone. Flavors of cantaloupe, honeysuckle, passion fruit, and flowery peach.
Varietals: 86% Semillon, 14% Sauvignon Blanc Oak: 100% Neutral French Vineyards: 57% Les Collines, 21% Goff, 19% Seven Hills East, 3% Summit View
2020 Amavi Cellars - Syrah
$42 Retail | $33.60 Club | $13 Glass
Aromas of candied bacon, vanilla, espresso, tobacco, and dusty bramble.
Flavors of fig, plum compote, baking spice, and warm blackberry pie
Varietals: 91% Syrah, 9% Grenache Oak: 100% French; 82% Neutral, 18% New Vineyards: 42% Les Collines, 32% Stone Valley, 16% Seven Hills, 10% Summit View
2020 Amavi Cellars - Cabernet Sauvignon
$40 Retail $32 Club | $13 Glass
Aromas of dark chocolate, green peppercorn, pomegranate, and sweet tobacco. Tastes like baking spices, fig paste, black currant, black cheery, and cocoa.
Varietals: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Oak: 95% French, 5% American; 35% New, 65% Neutral
Vineyards: 39% Pepper Bridge, 21% Seven Hills, 19% Goff, 17% Octave, 4% Summit View
2019 Pepper Bridge Winery - Trine
$70 Retail $56 Club | $17 Glass
Aromas of red fruit, strawberry, raspberry, fresh herbs, and crushed stone. Tastes like dark red fruits, baker's chocolate, floral notes, fresh winter mint, and savory minerality.
Varietals: 42% Cabernet Franc, 30$ Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
Oak: 100% French; 52% Neutral, 48% New Vineyards: 56% Seven Hills, 24$ Waliser, 16% Octave, 4% Pepper Bridge
2019 Pepper Bridge Winery - Cabernet Sauvignon
$70 Retail | $56 Club | $17 Glass
Aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, ripe dark cherry, spice, dried herb, cedar, and loamy earth. Tastes like dense blackberry, ripe plum, mineral, and chocolate.
Varietals: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc Oak: 100% French; 55% New, 45% Neutral Vineyards: 44% Seven Hills, 29% Pepper Bridge, 20% Octave, 7% Waliser
We were able to have a side by side of the 2017 & 2019 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon. We found the 2017 a little soft for our taste, and preferred the 2019.
In the end, we picked up a bottle of the Amavi Cellars 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, since we enjoyed their 2020 Cab, but wanted to have something with some age on it. We'll have to see how this opens!
Here are the notes from the winery:
SMELLS LIKE: lilac, wild blueberry, black plum, sweet tobacco
TASTES LIKE: black cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate mocha, fresh herb
MOUTHFEEL: velvety and complex with smooth, lush, and approachable tannins
DRINK WITH: slow-braised beef short ribs, polenta, roasted brussels sprouts, aged cheddar
THE 2017 VINTAGE
We rang in 2017 with three arctic fronts that brought temperatures down to -10 in the coldest areas. This was followed by a cool, wet spring that pushed bud break back by two weeks. We opened our canopies early to allow additional sunlight and promote growth. Early summer was very warm, which accelerated the season and pushed ripening back on track. During the heat spikes in August we had a very slight haze that kept us from hitting the triple digits.
As we rolled into harvest, the winds changed and our skies cleared. The weather in Walla Walla was ideal, with our usual long warm days and wonderfully cool evenings. “The result was another amazing vintage with nice yields of bold fruit with great acidity,” says Winemaker and Partner Jean-François Pellet.
100% estate, sustainably farmed
Founding member of VINEA
VARIETALS: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
ESTATE VINEYARDS: 38% Pepper Bridge, 25% Summit View, 12% Octave, 9% Goff, 8% Seven Hills, 8% Les Collines
APPELLATION: 100% Walla Walla Valley
OAK PROGRAM: 94% French, 6% American; 71% neutral, 29% new
HARVEST DATES: 9/15 – 10/18/2017
FINISHED ALCOHOL: 14.5%
PRODUCTION: 6,097 cases