Andrew Will Winery Sorella 2016
This vintage of Sorella will be the type of wine that has been praised as one of the best vintages since its inception in 1994. This was an excellent vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon and it shows in this Cab Sauv heavy blend. Sorella means sister in Italian and was named after Chris Camarda late sister Jane Camarda.
Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petite Verdot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Bright ruby-red. Brooding scents of blackberry, blueberry, licorice, menthol and graphite. Dense but sharply delineated and penetrating, with black and blue fruit flavors conveying terrific energy and juiciness that mask the wine's thickness. Still, this can't quite match the more Merlot-based Champoux Vineyard blend for density. This wine boasts serious Cabernet Sauvignon structure, finishing with lovely mounting violet lift and length. Firmly tannic but not hard. This, too, should evolve slowly but even today it's balanced and enjoyable. I suppose it's a bit more tannic and less pliant than the Andrew Will '16s that contain more Merlot, but none of these wines lack for definition or spine.
Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda. The winery was named for nephew Andrew and son Will. Andrew Will 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. They make about 4500 cases of wine. In addition to the blends, Andrew Will makes from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese from fruit grown at Ciel du Cheval.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.