Cadence Red Mountain Ciel du Cheval 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Washington
Probably the most unusual bend we've ever assembled for Ciel, but all to outstanding effect. This vintage is as dark, brooding, and structured as any Ciel to date. The nose shows deep layers of dark fruit and spice. The palate is atypically big for Ciel, with waves of black cherry, blueberry and plums crashing on bedrock style tannins. This is a large scaled wine, but the acidity brought by the Franc and Petit Verdot keep the flavors in check, preventing Ciel from becoming cloying or thick. This is truly a wine for mid to long term cellaring, or a couple of hours in the decanter.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright medium-deep red. Cherry, raspberry, licorice and flowers on the nose, plus a hint of tobacco leaf; lightly medicinal in a Cheval Blanc way. Then juicy, pure and tightly wound, with superb depth of bright red berry and floral flavors supported by firm acidity and solid tannic structure. Plenty of density and sweetness here but also energetic and light on its feet. Spreads out impressively on the back end, with the tannins reaching the incisors. Seems tighter than the 2007 version at a similar stage and really calls for five years of cellaring, even if it could be enjoyed today with food. Proprietor/winemaker Ben Smith describes 2008 as "a compressed harvest and a structured vintage for us." He normally picks on the early side (the pH here is 3.68) but notes that this wine is just over 14% alcohol. These are some of Washington's most Bordeaux-like wines, and Cadence is now firmly in the top tier of the state's producers: recent vintages have brought sweeter fruit and greater density of material without any loss of structure or verve.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Ciel du Cheval is a blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Petit Verdot, and 12% Merlot. Herbs, spices, violets, minerals, and black fruits compose the bouquet of this structured offering. In the glass it reveals some elegance, excellent balance, and a lengthy finish. It will deliver optimal drinking from 2013 to 2023. "
Cadence is dedicated to showcasing the finest vineyard sites in Washington State. Their Bordeaux-styled blends are their interpretation of the best qualities reflected in Washington's greatest vineyard terroir. Cadence's winemaking philosophy is based on the belief that blending creates a balanced wine of greater character than the individual components. Their wines express the power, intensity or elegance of the vineyard reflected in the characteristics of the varietals on the vineyard site. View all Cadence Wines
About Yakima Valley
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.
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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.