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Andrew Will Winery Sorella (375ML half-bottle) 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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Winemaker Notes

The Sorella is an attractive balance of rich tannins, bright acids, and flavors. On the nose hints of limestone, anise, lavender, blueberries and violet are accompanied by generous and deep fruit qualities. The mid palate is possessed of textured tannins in harmony with a complex depth. The wine has a laser-like focus and shows elegant restraint from both start to finish. The bold sophistication of Champoux fruit is fulfilled by the complexities of the wine.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
Chris Camarda's great gift as a winemaker is to be assertive in his restraint. That’s what the 2011 Sorella is, a blend of 68 percent cabernet sauvignon with merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot from Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. It seizes upon whatever warmth the cool 2011 had to offer and delivers it with epic restraint. A leafy wisp of evergreen opens the wine, adorning fresh blackberry fruit. The flavors feel cool, moving toward cedar and black plum, then a hint of mocha and olivewood. The texture is revelatory, a wave of sweet spiced berry that starts off expansive and is gathered in a mesh of fine, old-vine tannins, bringing the wine to a firm but pliant conclusion.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Sorella (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot) is in the same ballpark, with plenty of blackberry, mineral, toast and earthiness, as well as full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. More backwards and structured than the Champoux Vineyard, give it a handful of years in the cellar and plan on drinking bottles through 2028.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Firm in texture, with dark berry and cherry flavors under a blanket of smoky, tarry flavors, finishing with an earthy character. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
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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.

GPSAW11SORELLA375ML_2011 Item# 134941