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Amavi Cellars & Pepper Bridge Winery, Woodinville (Nov, 2022)


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.


amavi cellars pepper bridge

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

Rating 4.4


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

Rating 4.3


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

Rating 4.1


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

Rating 4.2



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:


WINEMAKER NOTES

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.

VITICULTURE

100% estate, sustainably farmed

Founding member of VINEA


WINE SPECIFICS

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

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