Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2006
Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
A blend of 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot.
We were right to hold this wine back from it's usual release date in the early fall. Already, it is starting to show the startling balance and beautiful austerity which are the hallmarks for Ciel du Cheval wines. Each year, we experience the paradox of perfectly ripened Merlot and Cabernet Franc in this warmer Cabernet site. This year is no exception. This wine has an almost obsessive appeal. For me the difficulty in describing the qualities in the wine is best overcome if the wine is seen as something magical and taken for that.
Wine Enthusiast - "This is darn near perfect, a matchless expression of berries, dotted with chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch. The berry flavors, highlighted with crisp acids, strike a pure note and ring true over a long, long finish. The blend is 40% Merlot, 37% Cab Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Great concentration, finesse and length."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Ciel du Cheval, from the Red Mountain AVA known for its tannic, age-worthy fruit, is purple-colored with a fragrant perfume of cedar, smoke, black currant and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with outstanding depth and grip, mouth coating flavors, and a lengthy finish. The well-concealed tannins suggest that it will evolve for 4-6 years and drink well through 2026."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Raspberry, redcurrant, minerals and dried herbs on the nose; less high-toned than the 2005. Juicy, bright and intense, with lovely precision to its primary flavors. Offers a terrific tight core of fruit and harmonious ripe acidity. A step up from the earlier vintage in lift. Finishes broad, with very suave tannins."
Wine Spectator - "Supple, generous and sharply focused, delivering a complex mouthful of cherry and plum fruit with elements of dried flowers, exotic spices and savory, meaty notes competing for attention. A nice lift of acidity drives the finish, which lingers impressively. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now 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 Yakima ValleyView a map of Yakima Valley wineries
Washington's first appellation, Yakima Valley has over one third of the state's vineyards. The rolling foothills of the Cascades give the vines a good sun angle, so grapes are well-ripened come harvest time. Merlot dominates the plantings here, creating elegant wines with complex fruit, herbs & structure. Syrah continues to grow in popularity, creating blanced wines with spicy black fruit.A few smaller, but notable appellations that lie within or just outside of Yakima Valley include:
Rattlesnake Hills, which gained AVA status in 2006, lies in the north with 17 wineries.
Horse Heaven Hills, another recent sub-appellation hugs the south end of Yakima and is known for its outstanding vineyard sites that create incredible and collectible red wines.
Red Mountain, known for its intense and delicious reds, is located on the eastern side of Yakima Valley.
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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review54.8 out of 5 stars
4 ratings, 2 with reviewsWildeWine - Brooklyn, NY44/13/201259/7/2011I've only got one left! Golly I wish I could get more of this!Timothy Peterson - Arroyo Seco, NM54/13/201154/7/2011
I am digging this wine. Drinking wonderfully now. Soft and smooth on the palate with a medium long finish. Well balanced and would love to have more.
- Big & Bold