Grenache (61%) is in the lead on this wine, followed by Mourvèdre (23%) and Syrah. Alluring aromas of raspberry, blueberry, thistle, herb, smoked meat and black pepper are followed by lush, achingly pure red and blue fruit flavors, accented by a lovely sense of spicing. It's deft but pure. Smoked meat and black pepper notes linger on the extremely long finish. The balance throughout is impressive—a complete stunner. *Editors' Choice* (SS)
A blend of 61% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre and 16% Syrah, the 2017 Justine has a dusty, red-fruited nose with subtle red spices and hints of cherry blossom. Medium-bodied, the wine has a terroir-driven palate and tastes of dusty cherry, seeming just a touch tart across the mid-palate. The wine lingers long on the firm, spicy and dusty finish. With only 315 cases made, I recommend seeking some out at this price. (AM)
Healthy medium red. Slightly wild aromas of red raspberry, smoked meat and peppery herbs. Tactile and energetic in the mouth, conveying a juicy quality and excellent energy and lift to its flavors of strawberry, wild cherry, anise and pepper. This is ultimately quite silky and fine-grained, as well as a bit lower in alcohol than the 2016 bottling. Chris Peterson included 20% stems in the fermentation but noted that he still destems all of his fruit and then adds back a portion of the stems. Incidentally, Peterson discontinued his Les Trouvés Red Wine after the 2016 vintage, as he introduced his new value-priced Lydian wines. (ST)
The 2017 Justine from Avennia checks in as 61% Grenache, 23% Mourvèdre, and 16% Syrah that spent 18 months in 15% new French oak. There's not much to go around (350 cases), but it offers beautiful berry and red plum fruits as well as peppery herbs and floral nuances, medium-bodied richness and depth, silky tannins, and a great finish. It shows the elegant style of the vintage nicely and will evolve gracefully over the coming 7-8 years.
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