Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2007
A completely different blend from the winery's 2006 Ciel, this reflects Chris Camarda's growing enchantment with Cabernet Franc, which is now 45% of the blend. Most of the rest is Merlot—a Right Bank style. The concept works. It captures the sleek minerality of the site, and puts the fruit into tight, laser-like focus. The wine seems almost crystalline—sharp-edged and reflective, with penetrating angles and offset flavors.
The 2007 Ciel du Cheval is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and 15 % Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 40% new French oak for 20 months. Medium purple in color, it offers up an enticing nose of pain grille, pencil lead, herbs, olives, violets, cassis, and black currant. Ripe, smooth-textured, and mouth-filling, it has enough structure to evolve for several years. This lengthy effort will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2027.
Dark and youthful, this blends cabernet franc and merlot with a small portion of cabernet sauvignon. It leads with savory tar and mocha scents that meld with plump blue fruit. The flavors seem fat and rich at first, but the tannins supporting all that weight are so precise and tightly wound it's clear the wine is a long way from peak expression. Wait a year, then check it out with a hanger steak.
A bit rough around the edges, but not enough to detract from the gorgeous, focused blackberry, currant, green olive and dusky spice flavors that course through the focused finish. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2012 through 2017
Deep red. Reticent but pure aromas of blueberry, spices and dark chocolate. Juicy, spicy and intensely flavored if a bit imploded today; more vibrant than the Two Blondes. The fresh dark berry flavors and this young and serious wine's broad, fine, tooth-dusting tannins suggest that it will be superb with four or five years of cellaring. One of many terrific Bordeaux blends I tasted this year that downplays cabernet sauvignon in favor of cabernet franc and merlot.
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