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Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2007

Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE96
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750ML / 14.5% ABV
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3.6 7 Ratings
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3.6 7 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The balance between fruit and structure is well played out in this vintage. The classic and austere qualities that this vineyard has each year are well drawn out. As with most American wines, this wine projects more fruit in its youth than its European reflections. Over time we will see this difference shrink as the wines move (hopefully) into more complex incarnations of themselves. We would like to see this wine well stored for three or four years. As is almost always true with Andrew Will wines you can enjoy them now, but they will provide greater complexity over time.

15% Cabernet Sauvignon; 45% Cab Franc; 40% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
A completely different blend from the winery's 2006 Ciel, this reflects Chris Camarda's growing enchantment with Cabernet Franc, which is now 45% of the blend. Most of the rest is Merlot—a Right Bank style. The concept works. It captures the sleek minerality of the site, and puts the fruit into tight, laser-like focus. The wine seems almost crystalline—sharp-edged and reflective, with penetrating angles and offset flavors.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Dark and youthful, this blends cabernet franc and merlot with a small portion of cabernet sauvignon. It leads with savory tar and mocha scents that meld with plump blue fruit. The flavors seem fat and rich at first, but the tannins supporting all that weight are so precise and tightly wound it's clear the wine is a long way from peak expression. Wait a year, then check it out with a hanger steak.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2007 Ciel du Cheval is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and 15 % Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 40% new French oak for 20 months. Medium purple in color, it offers up an enticing nose of pain grille, pencil lead, herbs, olives, violets, cassis, and black currant. Ripe, smooth-textured, and mouth-filling, it has enough structure to evolve for several years. This lengthy effort will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2027.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
A bit rough around the edges, but not enough to detract from the gorgeous, focused blackberry, currant, green olive and dusky spice flavors that course through the focused finish. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2012 through 2017
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Andrew Will Winery

Andrew Will Winery

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Andrew Will Winery, 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.

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Yakima Valley

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As the first recognized wine-growing region in the Pacific Northwest, Yakima Valley is centrally located within Washington’s vast Columbia Valley. The region also includes Washington’s oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines, Otis Vineyard, planted in 1957, and Harrison Hill Vineyard, planted in 1963. Yakima Valley contains three smaller sub-regions: Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, and Snipes Mountain and is ideal for both red and white wine production. In fact, Yakima Valley is Washington’s most diverse region, boasting more than 40 different grape varieties over about one hundred miles.

The cooler parts of the valley are home to almost half of the Chardonnay and Riesling produced in the state! Both are made in a wide range of styles depending on the conditions of the vineyard site.

But its warmer locations yield a large proportion of Washington’s best Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The finest Yakima Valley reds are jam-packed full of red cherry, currant, raspberry or blackberry fruit, as well as cocoa, herb, spice and savory notes, and exhibit a supple texture, great body, focus and length.

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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.

VAD103482_2007 Item# 103482