The story of this wine - The Sestina is an ancient form of poetry from Medieval France. Just as a modern poet can fill this form with new expressions, Avennia uses the traditional Bordeaux blend to express Washington. Sestina is their vision for an old vine, complex blend where all of the components complement each other. This wine is designed for the cellar, so the emphasis is on structure, balance, and complexity.
"Upon swirling the glass, ripe red and black currants, Alpine flowers, toasted vanilla bean, crushed herbs, damp earth, and graphite highlight the nose on this wine. As it opens up, the palate fills out with beautiful poise and power, featuring red cassis and blueberry reductions, rich loam and crushed violets, with hints of bay leaf, mocha and iron. Tightly wound, yet deeply concentrated, this will want a few years in bottle, or a good decant if opened young. But this looks to be an incredibly long lived Sestina. Drink 2025-2045." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"Toasted cedar, pine cones, walnuts and cocoa with ripe blackcurrants and cherries. Medium- to full-bodied, plush and generously dark-fruited, with a firm grip of tannins, a polished texture and a toasty, lingering finish. A little chewy at the end. 77% cabernet sauvignon, 17% merlot and 6% cabernet franc. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (April 2023), 93 pts
"A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Dionysus, and Bacchus vineyards and spent 20 months in 48% new French oak barrels. A beautiful, Saint-Julien-like bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, violets, tobacco, and cedar gives way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured wine that builds incrementally on the palate, with ripe, velvety tannins, a stunning mid-palate, and a blockbuster of a finish. It's beautifully done, and while it drinks well today given its balance, purity, and texture, it's going to develop additional complexity with 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 96+ pts
"This is blended with 17% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, with the fruit coming from top sites Bacchus, Dionysus and Red Willow. Plum aromas are followed by notes of mocha, scorched earth, pink peppercorn, dried leaf and cassis, showing detail and subtlety. The flavors are polished and seamless, with barely a hair out of place. It's loaded with tannins combed to a fine sheen. An extremely long finish caps it off. The balance and intensity are impressive, but it's the nuance and detail that defines this wine. Best after 2026, with a seemingly immortal life beyond that. - SEAN P. SULLIVAN"
- Wine Enthusiast (July 2021), 94 pts
"Medium ruby-red. Slightly brooding but complex aromas of dark raspberry, plum, red licorice, spices, menthol, tobacco and fresh herbs. Fairly large-scaled on entry, then full but not weighty in the middle palate, conveying a strong impression of ripeness to its plum, red berry, spice and smoky oak flavors. Delivers Old World finesse of texture and spicy sweetness. Round, broad and mouthfilling, this wine finishes with serious dusty tannins and rising, spicy red berry persistence. My sample developed more pliancy with aeration, but I'd rather give this wine at least another year of cellaring than open it today. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2020), 92+ pts
"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts, #84 TOP 100
"The 2016 Sestina checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw 21 months in 48% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It shows the purity and elegance of the vintage beautifully and offers classic Cabernet notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, crushed rocks, and tobacco leaf. With beautiful balance and that more elegant, finesse-driven style of the estate, it packs plenty of fruit and is a seamless wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (The 2016s From Washington State, April 11th 2019), 95+ pts
#52 in the TOP100 Red Wines of 2019
Marty Taucher and Chris Peterson (Seattle Magazine’s 2017 Winemaker of the Year) got together in 2009, at first only to review Marty’s draft of a winery business plan. Peterson was ...