Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Washington
This wine is currently the front runner in this release. The blend of structure, power and depth made the wine the favorite in a recent tasting of ten vintages of Ciel du Cheval (the much maligned 2000 vintage was second... so much for ideology). The wine is immediately expressive as well as fully in control of the austerity this vineyard always shows.
Blend: 36% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine & Spirits - "Chris Camarda accedes to the power of Red Mountain fruit in this blend of cabernet franc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The wine embodies the brawn and power of that appellation, all savory brown herbs, leather and black tea, with a payload of black, earthy tannin bringing up the rear. A glimmer of red-fruited franc-ness appears after three days of air, suggesting that everything is firmly in place for cellaring."
The Wine Advocate - "The vineyard blends begin with the 2008 Ciel du Cheval. It is composed of 36% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 32% Cabernet Franc. Alluring aromas of pain grille, pencil lead, violets, incense, black currant, and blackberry inform the nose of a spicy, layered, impeccably balanced and structured wine that will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring."
Wine Spectator - "This has a serious grip of tannins around a rumbling core of blackberry, licorice and pepper flavors, pushing through the firm finish. Needs time, but should eventually gain elegance. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2013 through 2020."
International Wine Cellar - "Good deep red-ruby. Musky aromas of currant, smoked meat and coffee. Juicy, spicy and bright, with firm acids giving definition and lift to the soil-driven flavors of currant, black cherry and cocoa powder. Quite primary and tight, and seriously tannic on the back end, where the wine's slightly exotic flavors really saturate the mouth. This boasts superb potential. Incidentally, Camarda presented a vertical collection of his Ciel du Cheval Vineyard wine in Seattle in July, and it was clear that he has taken these wines to a higher level beginning with 2006 , but I also gave high marks to past vintages like '05, '03, '01 and '00. I also raised my score for the 2007 to 93 points, from 92 in Issue 147. These wines, classic and often austere in the early going, demand, and repay, five to seven years of bottle aging. 92(+?)points "
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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.
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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.