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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Andrew Will Winery Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2001

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WE91
14.7% ABV
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  • WE92
  • W&S92
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Champoux is showing itself to be complex, having not only primary fruit flavors, but also components of flora and earth as well as mineral aspects. Each year since we have been making this wine we have enjoyed watching its journey as it changes in bottle. We are expecting more and more from the vineyard and feel that we are being rewarded for our demands from it.

Blend: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Fashioned from 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot, the spectacular 2001 Champoux Vineyard sports an explosively spicy nose of black fruits. This hugely expansive wine coats the palate with lush, soft layers of cassis, candied blackberries, minerals, sweet earth, and roasting spices. Extremely generous, concentrated, and complex, this suave, fruit-dominated effort also possesses copious quantities of magnificently ripened tannin in its prolonged finish.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Refined, elegant style offers a lovely layer of currant, plum and herb flavors that glide smoothly over the refined tannins and through a long, lithe finish.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Another single-vineyard gem, solid, substantial and sophisticated, though still quite young and tight. Fruit flavors hint at raspberry and pomegranate, along with graphite and dry, lightly chalky tannins. The mix is roughly two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cab Franc, 10% Merlot and a splash of Petit Verdot. The PV is a catalyst; it puts things in play and makes the wine jump.
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Andrew Will Winery

Andrew Will Winery

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Andrew Will Winery, Columbia Valley, Washington
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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.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SSRCHAMPOUX_2001 Item# 127768