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Seven Hills Winery Ciel du Cheval Vintage Red 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE95
  • WS90
14.2% ABV
  • WE92
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • WE93
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This 2009 vintage showcases fruit character and ripeness, while tannin and acidity takes a backseat in contrast to 2008. Merlot from the 1976 block predominates in this vintages blend by a small amount, lending an overall softer more fruit driven approach than 2008. The Petit Verdot percentage is relatively high, accentuating the rose petal, blackberry and coffee bean notes.

As for previous vintages, this bottling delivers that complex interplay of ripe red and black fruits, savory and floral character, and a well matched structure-fruit balance. Very lengthy, layered finish. Expect a solid 6-8 years of development in the cellar, and possibly longer.

Blend: 39% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 11% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Roses, blackberries, cassis and baking spices are beautifully rendered in a wine rich in depth and detail. More bottle age will surely bring still more complexity and soften some astringent tannins.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This red is firm in texture and expressive, delivering ripe blackberry and currant fruit tweaked with hints of bay leaf, black olive and toast. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2019.
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Seven Hills Winery

Seven Hills Winery

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Seven Hills Winery, , Washington
Seven Hills Winery
The McClellan family has farmed in Eastern Washington since 1880. One hundred years later, in 1980, Casey McClellan and his father Jim began planting the now famous Seven Hills Vineyard at the south end of the Walla Walla Valley. After then earning his Master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis, Casey returned to Walla Walla with his wife Vicky to found Seven Hills Winery, the fifth winery in the Walla Walla Valley, in 1988. Casey remains Seven Hills’ sole winemaker to this day.

Seven Hills Vineyard is now regarded as one of the “ten most important vineyards in the world” by Wine & Spirits Magazine. In addition to Seven Hills Vineyard, Casey crafts wines from several of the best, old vine vineyards in Walla Walla and on Red Mountain, including Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, and McClellan Estate.

Casey’ focus has always been on Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varietal reds, complemented by limited production of Alsatian varietal white wines. His vision is to produce wines that reflect the terroir of these sites with intense structure and pure varietal fruit character capable of graceful ageing.

Barbaresco

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Often compared to Barolo but worthy of its own separate conversation, Barbaresco is home to the softer side of Nebbiolo. For a long time, consumers viewed Barbaresco as a more affordable alternative to the wines of neighboring Barolo, but advances in viticulture and resulting improvements in quality have allowed this region to build a superior reputation all its own. With a warmer, drier, and milder climate and compact, fertile soils, the wines here are powerful yet soft, fruit-forward, and elegantly perfumed. Barbaresco needs some time to mature before being ready to drink, but less so than Barolo, and the typical bottle is best enjoyed between five and 15 years from the harvest.

Barbaresco wines are highly aromatic and complexly flavored, with notes of rose petal, cherry, strawberry, violets, and spice. Bottle aging can add more savory characteristics of iron and tar, as well as dried orange peel. The modern style of Barbaresco relies on new oak to add flavor and soften the texture for early drinking, while more traditional versions aim to highlight the purity of the Nebbiolo grape by using large, neutral oak vessels.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

NWWSH09CL_2009 Item# 118305

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