Avenger, 2010, 750 ml
60% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache
Avenger is always Syrah based, but this wine is reminiscent of some of the first vintages of Avenger with its higher percentage of Mourvèdre. Luna Matta Syrah is the backbone of this vintage. Mourvèdre grapes come from Denner, James Berry and Luna Matta. The Syrah was fermented 50% whole cluster and aged in 30% new French barriques. The Mourvèdre was fermented without stems and aged in second fill French puncheons. The Denner Grenache was destemmed and aged in neutral puncheons.
Magenta in color, the wine shows aromatics of raspberries, cinnamon, tree bark and camphor. A gorgeous mid-palate folds in flavors of cocoa, brown butter, salted caramels and spice. The wine eases into its long finish with rich fruits and lush tannin. Best from 2013-2025.
Denner, James Berry and Luna Matta
More upfront and with a sweeter core of fruit than the High Road, yet still one of the more structured versions of this cuvee I‟ve tasted, the 2010 Villa Creek Avenger is a blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache that was fermented with 50% whole cluster and aged in 30% new French oak. It has effusive aromas of sweet raspberries, baking spices, ground pepper, dried coffee, and floral qualities emerging from the glass. This is followed by a full-bodied, supple, and textured wine that has solid mid-palate concentration, beautifully freshness, and a substantial amount of tannin that emerges on the lengthy, chewy finish. Give bottles another handful of years in the cellar, and drink over the following decade. (93+ pts.) -- Jeb Dunnuck's The Rhone Report, Issue 14, Dec 2012