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Seven Hills Winery Ciel du Cheval Vintage Red 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE93
  • W&S93
  • WS92
  • RP91
14.1% ABV
  • WE92
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • WE93
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3.8 2 Ratings
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3.8 2 Ratings
14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Vintage 2011 started cool and continued ripening gradually to an extended harvest with dry conditions that allowed development of full fruit maturity. Small per acre yields gave the grapes great fruit concentrations and thick skins resulting in substantial tannins and gorgeous color. The aroma is of delicate red raspberry with notes of green tea and maple highlights, followed by a dense plum pudding, savory palate with points of red raspberry.

Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 38 % Merlot 33%, Petit Verdot 15%, Cabernet Franc 14%

Critical Acclaim

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WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This Bordeaux-style, single-vineyard blend outshines others from the same iconic Red Mountain site that cost significantly more. Packed with concentrated cherry and cassis, it’s layered with well-integrated earth, rock, leaf and stem flavors, and finished with a hint of toast from 21 months in 40% new French oak.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
This Bordeaux-style blend starts out massive, as most wines sourced from Ciel do, but with a little air the wine unfolds elegantly, revealing mocha, Mexican chocolate and an earthiness that folds into the cassis core of cabernet with an effortless grace. It has plenty of power, plenty of brawn, and it needs time in the cellar to grow into itself. Then serve with steak. (525 cases)
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Sleek and vivid, with boysenberry and floral aromas and flavors on a juicy, lively frame. Has elegance without losing depth and intensity of flavor, finishing harmoniously. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Vintage Red Wine Ceil du Cheval Vineyard is a smoking blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot, 14% Cabernet Franc that spent 21 months in 40% new French oak. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, focused and with fabulous purity of fruit, it offers up loads of black raspberry, creme de cassis, crushed flowers, toast and graphite. Showing solid tannic structure under its fruit, it will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 10 to 12 years of overall longevity.
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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.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

YNG777721_2011 Item# 130794

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