The partners of California-based Banshee Wines took a trip to Oregon to attend the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville. Like many travelers to our fair state, they fell in love. It wasn’t long before they were producing wine in the Willamette Valley under their new “Averaen” label.
They enlisted the talent of Adam Smith (Eisold-Smith wines) to do the winemaking, so I was excited to try the product and was not disappointed! They have a few single-vineyard designates along with a Willamette Valley cuvee. I really liked the Nysa Vineyard selection which is a high-elevation site in the Dundee Hills, just adjacent to the Domaine Drouhin Estate Vineyard.
Right off the bat, the color is absolutely gorgeous – clean bright purple/garnet. The nose is sharp, ripe, and popping. It’s really full of beautiful berry pie notes without being jammy, overdone or approaching a tired baked fruit character. Lovely, fresh and sweet – like a blackberry still on the vine but hot from basking in the sun all day. The extraction and flavor intensity is massive.
This wine will continue to resolve itself over the next 6 months and then should enter a good 3 to 5 year ideal drinking window. If you have it within the year of 2018, give it a light decant – just pouring it into a carafe and returning it to the bottle should do the trick. 93 pts. – Vinous