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Professional Ratings: 95 Wine Enthusiast, 93 The Wine Advocate, 93 International Wine Cellar, 92 Wine Spectator
Region: Yakima Valley, Washington
Varietal: Bordeaux Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Item no. 99801
A blend of 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot.
We were right to hold this wine back from it's usual release date in the early fall. Already, it is starting to show the startling balance and beautiful austerity which are the hallmarks for Ciel du Cheval wines. Each year, we experience the paradox of perfectly ripened Merlot and Cabernet Franc in this warmer Cabernet site. This year is no exception. This wine has an almost obsessive appeal. For me the difficulty in describing the qualities in the wine is best overcome if the wine is seen as something magical and taken for that.
This is darn near perfect, a matchless expression of berries, dotted with chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch. The berry flavors, highlighted with crisp acids, strike a pure note and ring true over a long, long finish. The blend is 40% Merlot, 37% Cab Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Great concentration, finesse and length.
The 2006 Ciel du Cheval, from the Red Mountain AVA known for its tannic, age-worthy fruit, is purple-colored with a fragrant perfume of cedar, smoke, black currant and blackberry liqueur. This is followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with outstanding depth and grip, mouth coating flavors, and a lengthy finish. The well-concealed tannins suggest that it will evolve for 4-6 years and drink well through 2026.
Bright ruby-red. Raspberry, redcurrant, minerals and dried herbs on the nose; less high-toned than the 2005. Juicy, bright and intense, with lovely precision to its primary flavors. Offers a terrific tight core of fruit and harmonious ripe acidity. A step up from the earlier vintage in lift. Finishes broad, with very suave tannins.
Supple, generous and sharply focused, delivering a complex mouthful of cherry and plum fruit with elements of dried flowers, exotic spices and savory, meaty notes competing for attention. A nice lift of acidity drives the finish, which lingers impressively. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016.