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Professional Ratings: 94 Wine & Spirits, 93 The Wine Advocate, 92 Wine Spectator, 92 International Wine Cellar
Region: Yakima Valley, Washington
Varietal: Bordeaux Red Blends
Other Info: Boutique Wines, Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 111131
This wine is currently the front runner in this release. The blend of structure, power and depth made the wine the favorite in a recent tasting of ten vintages of Ciel du Cheval (the much maligned 2000 vintage was second... so much for ideology). The wine is immediately expressive as well as fully in control of the austerity this vineyard always shows.
Blend: 36% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon
Chris Camarda accedes to the power of Red Mountain fruit in this blend of cabernet franc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The wine embodies the brawn and power of that appellation, all savory brown herbs, leather and black tea, with a payload of black, earthy tannin bringing up the rear. A glimmer of red-fruited franc-ness appears after three days of air, suggesting that everything is firmly in place for cellaring.
The vineyard blends begin with the 2008 Ciel du Cheval. It is composed of 36% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 32% Cabernet Franc. Alluring aromas of pain grille, pencil lead, violets, incense, black currant, and blackberry inform the nose of a spicy, layered, impeccably balanced and structured wine that will benefit from 3-4 years of cellaring.
This has a serious grip of tannins around a rumbling core of blackberry, licorice and pepper flavors, pushing through the firm finish. Needs time, but should eventually gain elegance. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2013 through 2020.
Good deep red-ruby. Musky aromas of currant, smoked meat and coffee. Juicy, spicy and bright, with firm acids giving definition and lift to the soil-driven flavors of currant, black cherry and cocoa powder. Quite primary and tight, and seriously tannic on the back end, where the wine's slightly exotic flavors really saturate the mouth. This boasts superb potential. Incidentally, Camarda presented a vertical collection of his Ciel du Cheval Vineyard wine in Seattle in July, and it was clear that he has taken these wines to a higher level beginning with 2006 , but I also gave high marks to past vintages like '05, '03, '01 and '00. I also raised my score for the 2007 to 93 points, from 92 in Issue 147. These wines, classic and often austere in the early going, demand, and repay, five to seven years of bottle aging. 92(+?)points