Ahh...here we are, the third wine from the "Taste My Vacation" wine tasting, a wine from one of my favorite wineries in Walla Walla, the 2009 Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval Vineyard red wine. This wine is a wonderful example of the best of Washington wine in my opinion, hand picked, low-yield varietals based mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, along with some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot to make for a wonderful red blend that is so characteristic of the wines in Walla Walla.
The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass, as you would expect from such a blend. The nose presents some lovely black cherry and plum, along with some cinnamon and floral notes. There is also a sweetness in the nose, almost candy-like, which is offset by the aroma of licorice and just a hint of cedar. The taste is a true delight, with a lovely balance of ripe berry and plum at the outset, giving way to fresh herbs and a certain earthy quality. The flavors are very sophisticated in the way they play off each other and bring real balance to the overall taste of the wine. The tannins are still a bit tight for this younger wine, but they work well for a long, smooth finish.
This was one of our favorites at the tasting, and believe me, the competition was pretty stiff! Overall I would rate this one a solid 9, with much potential for aging. This wine would pair nicely with a variety of wonderful dishes, from rich Italian dishes, to grilled steak, to Indian curry dishes, as it has the strength to stand up to bolder dishes, but the sophistication to bring out the layers of flavor in more complex cuisines. If you can find this wine I would recommend buying a few bottles, and if you can't find it, contact the folks at Seven Hills Winery, as I'm sure they'll do all they can to help you get some!