Seven Hills Winery Ciel du Cheval Vintage Red 2011
Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
Vintage 2011 started cool and continued ripening gradually to an extended harvest with dry conditions that allowed development of full fruit maturity. Small per acre yields gave the grapes great fruit concentrations and thick skins resulting in substantial tannins and gorgeous color. The aroma is of delicate red raspberry with notes of green tea and maple highlights, followed by a dense plum pudding, savory palate with points of red raspberry.
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 38 % Merlot 33%, Petit Verdot 15%, Cabernet Franc 14%
Wine Enthusiast - "This Bordeaux-style, single-vineyard blend outshines others from the same iconic Red Mountain site that cost significantly more. Packed with concentrated cherry and cassis, it’s layered with well-integrated earth, rock, leaf and stem flavors, and finished with a hint of toast from 21 months in 40% new French oak. "
Wine Spectator - "Sleek and vivid, with boysenberry and floral aromas and flavors on a juicy, lively frame. Has elegance without losing depth and intensity of flavor, finishing harmoniously. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2011 Vintage Red Wine Ceil du Cheval Vineyard is a smoking blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 14% Cabernet Franc that spent 21 months in 40% new French oak. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, focused and with fabulous purity of fruit, it offers up loads of black raspberry, creme de cassis, crushed flowers, toast and graphite. Showing solid tannic structure under its fruit, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 10 to 12 years of overall longevity."
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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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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