Amavi Cellars is located in downtown Walla Walla in a reconstructed, late eighteen hundreds building. Pronounced AH-mah-vee, the name name comes from a combination of the Latin root words for love (“am”) and life (“vi”). The winery is owned by the Goff, McKibben, and Pellet families with Jean François Pellet serving as winemaker. Pellet is also winemaker for nearby Pepper Bridge Winery.

Amavi uses fruit from three of Walla Walla Valley’s finest vineyards, Pepper Bridge, Les Collines, and Seven Hills. With these exceptional fruit sources and the guidance of Jean François Pellet, Amavi has been receiving growing recognition as a producer of excellent Cabernet and Syrah since their first vintage in 2001. Better still, they also produce wines that are great values. Amavi’s 2005 Cabernet was listed in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2008, quite an accomplishment for a $25 wine.

This trend of excellence and value continues with the 2007 vintage releases. Amavi’s 2007 Syrah is a prototypic example of the exceptional Syrah coming out of Walla Walla at a not-to-be-missed price. If you want to get a sense of what all the fuss is about regarding Washington syrah, this is an excellent place to start. The 2007 Amavi Cabernet is spot on on the palate with rich, focused fruit that is uncommon in wines at this price. The nose, however, is still fairly closed, not too surprising given its young age. Based on the winery’s pedigree, the excellent vineyard sources, and the overall strength of the 2007 vintage, the Cabernet has a large upside but still needs a bit more time to come in to its own.

Score Name Notes $


Amavi Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2007 An alluring nose with wild blueberries, game, violets, and threads of chocolate. On the taste, a soft entry that ramps up, hangs, and slowly ramps down. A beautifully constructed palate with rich, intense fruit along with earth, roasted meat, and flowers. 100% Syrah (42% Les Collines, 41% Seven Hills, 17% Pepper Bridge vineyards). 14.1% alcohol. 1,736 cases produced.



Amavi Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2007 An unusual, somewhat muted nose that initially shows more Syrah components of earth and game than aromas associated with Cabernet. Fruit aromas jump out occasionally but then recede. Spice, particularly anise and white pepper, start to emerge over time. A rich, focused taste that packs a wallop with fruit and spice. Grainy tannins provide texture and structure. Recommend an additional six months bottle age. 81% Cabernet, 12% Merlot, 5% Syrah, 2% Cab Franc. Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge, Les Collines, and Lefore vineyards. 14.1% alcohol. 5,974 cases produced. $28