Wine Review: 2010 Seven of Hearts Chatte d’Avignon Columbia Valley GSM

Wine Review: 2010 Seven of Hearts GSM, Columbia Valley

This Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend (50/35/15 respectively) from the Columbia Valley AVA rocked my world and confused the hell out of a couple of sommeliers I know who could not believe this was a New World wine. The aromas, structure and flavors all presented as a wine from Spain or France.

Seven of Hearts is a small producer here in Willamette Valley who is known primarily for their Pinot noir and Chardonnay.  Why make a GSM? Well anyone who has ever worked in a Willamette Valley tasting room will tell you if you sell three or four white varieties you need to offer some other red wines besides Pinot noir. This wine offers a harmonious balance of tannins and acid, which translates to smooth, seductive and savory.  It is a very graceful blend that rises to be something just a bit more than the sum of its parts. A generous core of fruit with a solid backbone of acidity makes this a culinary friendly masterpiece. Seven of Hearts is a winery to keep your eye out for when perusing a wine list or scouring your retailer’s shelves. You could make it easy on yourself and just buy direct from the winery.  

Seven of Hearts GSM

It really matters not how you get some of this fantastic juice, just that you do get some.  With only a couple hundred cases made I recommend putting some of this away for celebrations. It will certainly reward you with a few years cellaring. Byron Dooley, owner and winemaker at Seven of Hearts and Luminous Hills Winery has certainly under promised and over delivered a wine with tremendous QPR (quality to price ratio).

Rating: Excellent (92) | $25 | 14.3% ABV

Find this wine to buy: Vinquire |

Editor’s note: You may notice our new visual maps for people to “see” wine. Having assiduously sketched wine depictions for 20+ years now, I use it as a way to remember a wine. Visual aspects resonate more than the written word for many, and I think it makes a great tool to learn how to taste wine. Taking my visual drawings a step further, I wanted to depict a unique representation of what I saw when I tasted a wine while defining a visual language that most would understand. My latest inspiration comes from Tim Gaiser, MS. After listening to his presentation, The Neuroscience of Wine Tasting, I was inspired to take my drawings to the next level. Each map we post is our own unique representation of the wine reviewed, and everyone will experience different image/olfactory connections when tasting. I will write more about this exciting topic soon. Until then, check out Mr. Gaiser’s website I highly recommend reading his article on how to assess the structural components of wine as well. ~Pamela


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.


  1. Darcy September 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM - Reply

    I had a 7 of hearts at a recent outing. I don’t think it was this one but it was an excellent wine. I hope I can find this at my neighborhood store!

    • enobytes September 13, 2012 at 5:29 PM - Reply

      It is much easier to find if you live in Oregon. Buying direct from the winery is another option (if you live in a state that allows wine shipments.) Let me know if you need help finding it.

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