Well, I'm off work this week for vacation, so you might see a few more blog posts than normal this week. Tonight I am enjoying a bottle of 2013 Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval, their 13th vintage of this wonderful red blend from the Ciel du Cheval vineyard on Red Mountain. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (42%), Merlot (30%), Petit Verdot (14%) and Cabernet Franc (14%). What makes this is bit different is that the wine is blended early and then placed back in the barrel to age another 18 months before release, providing a real taste of the Red Mountain terroir.
The wine is a deep purple in the glass, with highlights of garnet along the edges. The nose presents aromas of leather, blackberry, black pepper and a hint of smoke. The taste is surprisingly well developed for such a young wine, with subdued fruit up front that seems to come alive with blackberry jam and caramelized plum, that transition effortlessly to notes of dusty limestone and toasted oak midpalate. The tannins are a bit chewy given their youth, but still provide a nice base for the long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, with much room to develop over the coming decade. This is a wine that begs to be paired with a nice steak, so I've obliged tonight as I'm enjoying this with a nice rare grilled Angus bone-in ribeye, mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. The wine stands up to the steak just fine, but there's something magical about the ripe black fruit combined with mashed sweet potatoes! Cheers!