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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2006

Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • WS92
14.5% ABV
  • W&S94
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  • RP92
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  • RP93
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  • RP93
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  • RP93
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  • RP94
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Currently Unavailable $49.99
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4.8 4 Ratings
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4.8 4 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A blend of 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot.

We were right to hold this wine back from it's usual release date in the early fall. Already, it is starting to show the startling balance and beautiful austerity which are the hallmarks for Ciel du Cheval wines. Each year, we experience the paradox of perfectly ripened Merlot and Cabernet Franc in this warmer Cabernet site. This year is no exception. This wine has an almost obsessive appeal. For me the difficulty in describing the qualities in the wine is best overcome if the wine is seen as something magical and taken for that.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This is darn near perfect, a matchless expression of berries, dotted with chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch. The berry flavors, highlighted with crisp acids, strike a pure note and ring true over a long, long finish. The blend is 40% Merlot, 37% Cab Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Great concentration, finesse and length.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Ciel du Cheval, from the Red Mountain AVA known for its tannic, age-worthy fruit, is purple-colored with a fragrant perfume of cedar, smoke, black currant and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with outstanding depth and grip, mouth coating flavors, and a lengthy finish. The well-concealed tannins suggest that it will evolve for 4-6 years and drink well through 2026.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Supple, generous and sharply focused, delivering a complex mouthful of cherry and plum fruit with elements of dried flowers, exotic spices and savory, meaty notes competing for attention. A nice lift of acidity drives the finish, which lingers impressively. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016.
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Andrew Will Winery

Andrew Will Winery

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Andrew Will Winery, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Image of 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.

Yakima Valley

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Often considered to be the heart of Washington wine country, the Yakima Valley is a sub-AVA of the vast Columbia Valley. The first AVA established in Washington, it is home to some of the state’s most established wineries, and contains three smaller sub-regions: Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, and Snipes Mountain. The climate here is cooler than the rest of the Columbia Valley, making the Yakima Valley ideal for growing white varieties.

Chardonnay is the most planted grape here, followed closely by Riesling—both made in a wide range of styles depending on the warmth of the vineyard site. Because of the cooler climate, Merlot outnumbers darker-fruited, more tannic Cabernet Sauvignon here—an anomaly for Washington viticulture—and takes on characteristics of sweet red fruit with a supple texture, and sometimes notes of chocolate and mint. Yakima Valley Syrah is earthy and savory, complemented by a wide range of berry flavors from red to black.

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.

GVDAW71020602_2006 Item# 99801