Possibly up there with the top Syrahs in the vintage, the 2014 Syrah Boushey Vineyard Arnaut is a classic Washington state Syrah that has lots of ripe plums, blueberries, violets, iron and chocolate to go with a rich, layered style on the palate. It has fine tannin and should benefit from short-term cellaring. One of the rising stars in the wine world, winemaker Chris Peterson continues to make incredible wines under his Avennia label. These are classic, firm, even a touch austere wines that will reward cellaring. Looking at the different releases, he divides the lineup into a Bordeaux blend range (the white Oliane, the entry level Gravura, the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated Sestina, and the Merlot heavy Valery) and a Rhone blend range (the GSM Justine, the Syrah based Le Corbeau, and the Syrah Boushey Vineyard Arnaut). These are made in tiny quantities but are worth the effort to track down! (JD)
(from older blocks planted in 1994 and 1996; made with wild yeasts, aged in 15% new oak and bottled in April without fining or filtration): Bright medium ruby. Sexy, musky scents of dark raspberry, game and violet face powder. Not a thick wine but wonderfully silky and sweet, with the violet quality and healthy integrated acidity giving the cherry, raspberry and light game flavors terrific floral lift. Really compelling inner-mouth perfume and personality here, with the native yeast fermentation contributing texture. This wonderfully plush, savory, pliant wine finishes long and aromatic, with perfectly integrated tannins and lingering sweetness. Chris Peterson describes the 2014s as "bigger wines, with sweeter fruit than the 2013s." The earlier vintage, he told me, "drinks cooler than 2014." The pHs were higher in '13 but grape sugars were lower, he said, adding that "the 2013s show more elegance than the 2012s." (ST)
*Editors' Choice* Coming from one of the state's most esteemed Syrah vineyards, this wine wins over fans by its brains rather than its brawn. High-toned aromas of dried herbs mix with notes of raspberry, blue fruit and iron. The flavors are fresh and layered, bringing a sense of vibrancy and deliciousness.
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