Seven Hills Winery Ciel du Cheval Vintage Red 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
This 2009 vintage showcases fruit character and ripeness, while tannin and acidity takes a backseat in contrast to 2008. Merlot from the 1976 block predominates in this vintages blend by a small amount, lending an overall softer more fruit driven approach than 2008. The Petit Verdot percentage is relatively high, accentuating the rose petal, blackberry and coffee bean notes.
As for previous vintages, this bottling delivers that complex interplay of ripe red and black fruits, savory and floral character, and a well matched structure-fruit balance. Very lengthy, layered finish. Expect a solid 6-8 years of development in the cellar, and possibly longer.
Blend: 39% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Wine Enthusiast - "Roses, blackberries, cassis and baking spices are beautifully rendered in a wine rich in depth and detail. More bottle age will surely bring still more complexity and soften some astringent tannins."
Wine Spectator - "This red is firm in texture and expressive, delivering ripe blackberry and currant fruit tweaked with hints of bay leaf, black olive and toast. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2019."
Seven Hills Winery
The McClellan family has farmed in Eastern Washington since 1880. One hundred years later, in 1980, Casey McClellan and his father Jim began planting the now famous Seven Hills Vineyard at the south end of the Walla Walla Valley. After then earning his Master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis, Casey returned to Walla Walla with his wife Vicky to found Seven Hills Winery, the fifth winery in the Walla Walla Valley, in 1988. Casey remains Seven Hills’ sole winemaker to this day.
Seven Hills Vineyard is now regarded as one of the “ten most important vineyards in the world” by Wine & Spirits Magazine. In addition to Seven Hills Vineyard, Casey crafts wines from several of the best, old vine vineyards in Walla Walla and on Red Mountain, including Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, and McClellan Estate.
Casey’ focus has always been on Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal reds, complimented by limited production of Alsatian varietal white wines. His vision is to produce wines that reflect the terroir of these sites with intense structure and pure varietal fruit character capable of graceful ageing. View all Seven Hills Winery Wines
About Walla Walla ValleyView a map of Walla Walla Valley wineries
Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
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.
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