Happy Tuesday! Well, this continues to be a busy time for me, so I'll try to make blog posts when I can, and tonight is one such time! I've opened a bottle of 2011 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval, a blend of Cabernet Franc (52%) and Merlot (48%) from the Columbia Valley of Washington. I happened to get this wine from Wines Till Sold Out at a decent price below retail, but not necessarily cheap! I've often seen Andrew Will wines, but this may be the first that I've tried one, so here goes nothing!
The wine is an inky indigo at the center with bright ruby along the edges. The nose presents tantalizing aromas of ripe berries, blackberry, blueberry intermingled with leather and tobacco. The taste is very nice, with subtle fruit that gives way quickly to vanilla spice and cocoa powder, with a bit of cardamom and the faintest hint of cinnamon. The tannins are very mellow, leading to a softer, more complex but very dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, it was much more complex than your standard Cabernet Sauvignon based blend, so it would take some effort to truly appreciate. The wine was a relative bargain at $35 compared to the usual $45-plus I've seen locally, but not the least expensive. I think this would be a more food friendly wine, a little more versatile, with the flexibility to be Zin-like with barbecue or Merlot-like with steak. Of course, tonight I'm enjoying this bottle with a rare grilled Angus ribeye along with grilled corn and Brussels sprouts. Cheers!