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Andrew Will Winery Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • W&S91
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine has a full middle palate with layers of raspberry, black cherry, and plum with blueberry reflections. The wine is soft considering the percentage of cabernet and has good acidity that contributes to its freshness and structure.

Blend: 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 7% Petit Vedot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Andrew Will 2009 Champoux – which comprises 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot – offers a terrific example of the combination of richness and textural polish with lift and energy that Washington State vineyards, and especially this one, can supply. Both blond and smoky Latakia tobaccos join black raspberry, purple plum and cassis, which are shadowed by their high-toned distilled essences. Hints of vanilla and nutmeg – perhaps from barrel (ca. 40% new); or perhaps part and parcel of Champoux fruit – are subtly complementary, while a saline savor grows in this beauty’s long finish, stimulating the salivary glands as well as the urge to take another sip. Expect this to excel for a decade. Camarda bottled his first Champoux vineyard designate from 1999, a pure Cabernet. Once fruit from the other cepages became available, he began bottling a blend of them all.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Supple, elegant and gentle, unfurling its black currant, tar and floral flavors with grace, underlining them with refined tannins that allow the flavors to linger with delicacy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
This is a powerful, dense blend of mostly Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with a little Merlot. Though unformed for now, all of the elements are there: a firm tannic structure, a dusty compote of dark red fruit that feels young and fresh-picked. It needs years in the cellar before deployment on a steak.
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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 capable of producing 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 even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. 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 entire 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. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

NWWAW09CX_2009 Item# 118215