Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2007
Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
The balance between fruit and structure is well played out in this vintage. The classic and austere qualities that this vineyard has each year are well drawn out. As with most American wines, this wine projects more fruit in its youth than its European reflections. Over time we will see this difference shrink as the wines move (hopefully) into more complex incarnations of themselves. We would like to see this wine well stored for three or four years. As is almost always true with Andrew Will wines you can enjoy them now, but they will provide greater complexity over time.
15% Cabernet Sauvignon; 45% Cab Franc; 40% Merlot
Wine Enthusiast - "A completely different blend from the winery's 2006 Ciel, this reflects Chris Camarda's growing enchantment with Cabernet Franc, which is now 45% of the blend. Most of the rest is Merlot—a Right Bank style. The concept works. It captures the sleek minerality of the site, and puts the fruit into tight, laser-like focus. The wine seems almost crystalline—sharp-edged and reflective, with penetrating angles and offset flavors."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Ciel du Cheval is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and 15 % Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 40% new French oak for 20 months. Medium purple in color, it offers up an enticing nose of pain grille, pencil lead, herbs, olives, violets, cassis, and black currant. Ripe, smooth-textured, and mouth-filling, it has enough structure to evolve for several years. This lengthy effort will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2027. "
Wine & Spirits - "Dark and youthful, this blends cabernet franc and merlot with a small portion of cabernet sauvignon. It leads with savory tar and mocha scents that meld with plump blue fruit. The flavors seem fat and rich at first, but the tannins supporting all that weight are so precise and tightly wound it's clear the wine is a long way from peak expression. Wait a year, then check it out with a hanger steak."
Wine Spectator - "A bit rough around the edges, but not enough to detract from the gorgeous, focused blackberry, currant, green olive and dusky spice flavors that course through the focused finish. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2012 through 2017"
International Wine Cellar - "Deep red. Reticent but pure aromas of blueberry, spices and dark chocolate. Juicy, spicy and intensely flavored if a bit imploded today; more vibrant than the Two Blondes. The fresh dark berry flavors and this young and serious wine's broad, fine, tooth-dusting tannins suggest that it will be superb with four or five years of cellaring. One of many terrific Bordeaux blends I tasted this year that downplays cabernet sauvignon in favor of cabernet franc and merlot."
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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 Review43.8 out of 5 stars
6 ratings, 2 with reviewsMr. Marco - East Greenwich, RI35/9/2016Demega - Northville, MI55/9/2016Stashforce - Menasha, WI412/31/2012
Lynn Looby - Newtown Square, PA44/29/201242/18/2011
- Earthy & Spicy
Really nice wine. Needs a good hour or two in the decanter to open up. Nice soft tannins and a long silky smooth finish. I will wait a year before I open the next bottle. I have a feeling this wine will be excellent in a few years.Dklined - Cincinnati, OH46/3/2011Very interesting wine with many flavors. Great wine for entertaining.
- Big & Bold