2018 Ava is full of firsts. The first time since the inaugural release of this wine back in 2009 that the cepage is Roussanne dominant, followed by Viognier and Marsanne. Also the first time that part of the wine was fermented and aged in un-lined concrete tulip. 2018 Ava is packed with the very essence of white Rhone grapes. A regal wine with structure and poise. A wine that will both wow in its youth and in the long term (specially after 5-8 years of bottle age). Today, Ava 2018 is at its best with a long decant or better yet tucked away for at least a couple of years of slumber time in the cellar. There is an erect spine holding this textural wine in balance. Red Haven peaches, yellow plums are mingling with white aromatic flowers, herbal tea, and light brioche notes. The restrained amount of new oak used (5%) in the upbringing of this wine is very well integrated already and barely shows itself more than a thin frame around a beautiful work of art. With a long decant, slight acacia honey drizzled notes on toasted brioche bun come to the foreground. Anticipate beautiful toasted cereal notes to come forward about half a dozen years post vintage.
Heritage roasted chicken with traditional stuffing or game bird with tropical fruit accents.
|Region:||Black Sage Bench, North Oliver|
Glacio Fluvial Fan; Gravel and sand at Crowley Vineyard, mostly Sand and Clay and rare pockets of Gravel in Le Grand Pin Block.
|Age of Vines:||10-14 years old|
|Aging:||7 months in 35% French oak barrels and puncheons, 5% new, 38% in Stainless Steel, 27% in unlined concrete tulips|
Ava is inspired by the whites of the south of France made from roussanne, marsanne and viognier. In this vintage roussanne takes the majority position at 51%, followed by viognier at 36% and marsanne the balance. It was fermented and aged in French oak, new tulip shaped concrete vats and stainless steel. It is a very fine nuanced and balanced wine, quite rich yet elegant. The nose is gentle with yellow plum, starfruit and florals plus vanilla, light spice and toasty nuances from frequent lees stirring. I am most impressed by the delicate balance and smooth texture, with the 13.6% alcohol in check and very good acidity. The length is excellent with lemon joining the mix. Fine to enjoy now although I suspect more complexity in a couple of years. Tasted June 2020.
David Lawrason | Wine Align | Tasted: June 2020