Andrew Will Winery Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
A lot of people have been whispering that this is the finest vineyard in Washington, and while we are always interested in what is being said in whispers and behind closed doors we can't always give as much of our trust to these thoughts as some. Nevertheless we are ready to agree on the terrific sense of body and pronounced strength of the fruit in the wines being made from the various part of Champoux Vineyard. As much as I fall in love with the wines from Champoux, I have to pull myself back and wait for a few years until the true voicing and pitch of these wines comes forward. Again, it is the beauty and compelling nature of this wine as a whole which draws me to it in an almost narcotic way.
Wine & Spirits - "Chris Camarda's 2006 blend from Chamoux includes cabernets sauvignon (57 percent) and franc (35) with a small amount of merlot. Marrying Washington's sunpower and the elegance of one of its best vineyards, this is a quiet wine at the outset, revealing only savory, leafy notes of graphite, juniper and cumin against a backdrop of plum. But the fruit deepens into flavors of cassis, the savory parts becoming meatier and more elemental, the tannins as mouthcoating as the they are refined. Then a hint of orange peel lifts the finish. Quite a performance, and destined to be long lived."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Champoux Vineyard, a source of some of Washington’s finest old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon (as well as the principal component of Quilceda Creek’s renowned Cabernet) is purple-colored with an impressive display of smoky black fruits, pencil lead, and earth notes. On the palate, it is intense, rich, and layered with the structure and balance for a decade of evolution. This powerful effort should drink well from 2015 to 2030."
International Wine Cellar - "(a blend of 57% cabernet sauvignon, 35% cabernet franc and 8% merlot) Bright ruby-red. Subdued but subtly complex nose is much less expressive today than that of the Ciel du Cheval; hints of berries and cedar. Suave and complex, with a downright spherical texture and lovely depth of flavor. At once silky and bright, finishing with subtle sweet berry notes, fine-grained tannins and terrific persistence."
Wine Spectator - "Firm, with a tart balance to the bright raspberry and brooding black fruit flavors. A distinctive minerally note emerges nicely on the expressive finish. Needs time to soften. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2011 through 2016."
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Andrew Will Winery
Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda. The winery was launched out of a love for wine that Chris developed while working in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years. Named after his son Will and nephew Andrew, Andrew Will has been a major contributor in putting Washington State on the map as a world-class wine-producing region.
Andrew Will wines are labeled by vineyard with each wine a different makeup of the Bordeaux varietals. These vineyards, all in the Columbia Valley, include Camarda's own estate Two Blondes. He is part owner of the Champoux Vineyard and sources from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. View all Andrew Will Winery Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.