Allegedly named for the 12th century troubadour Arnaut Daniel, Woodinville, Wash.,’s Avennia is producing a Syrah that lives up the poetic nature of its name. With an origin like Boushey Vineyards in Yakima Valley, ran by Dick Boushey who is a viticultural troubadour in his own right, the 2011 Syrah was fermented with 15 percent whole cluster grapes, then aged for 16 months in 15 percent new French oak, allowing a true expression of this fruit’s composition. An explosion of aromas pour out of the glass with smoke, fresh cracked pepper, lavender, black currant and blackberries while some air brings out earth and meatiness. The palate desperately wants a lamb chop, with juicy, tart red fruits, spice, plum, plenty of zingy acid and smoothly integrated tannins.

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