2009 Andrew Will "Champoux Vineyard" Horse Heaven Hills Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1078109 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Champoux Vineyard is more than a little impressive and offers a deep, layered bouquet of leafy herbs, spice, cedar and leather that’s supported by a rich core of fruit. Full-bodied and beautifully textured, with great mid-palate concentration, it can be consumed now and over the coming decade. Drink now-2023. Made by Chris Camarda from his base on Vashon Island just west of Seattle, Andrew Will Cellars delivers classic, elegant wines that show solid typicity and age-worthy profiles. His 2010s are superb across the board and possess slightly reserved aromatics with firm, pure textures. Downright backwards, especially when compared to his 2009s, they will all benefit from short- term cellaring and, I suspect, these scores will seem a bit low once they flesh out. His 2011s had just been bottled at the time of this tasting, so I opted to review them as barrel samples and give ranges for the scores. They all showed more up-front, perfumed and supple profiles, yet I think they will close down slightly over the coming year as they settle in bottle. Chris believes his 2011s might surpass his 2010s.  (6/2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (43% cabernet sauvignon, 39% cabernet franc, 11% merlot and 7% petit verdot; 40% new oak): Good deep red with ruby highlights. Very ripe black plum dominates the nose. An impressively concentrated Bordeaux blend with thick yet lively flavors of black cherry and redcurrant filling the mouth. This has the ripeness and stuffing to support its substantial dusty, ripe tannins. Plenty of structure here.  (12/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is a fascinating wine, offering a pleasing mélange of fruits—loads of berries and cherries to be sure, but also intriguing suggestions of oranges and peaches. Detailed and nicely toasty on the finish, this excellent effort will reward further bottle age.  (7/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Supple, elegant and gentle, unfurling its black currant, tar and floral flavors with grace, underlining them with refined tannins that allow the flavors to linger with delicacy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2019. (Insider)  (8/2012)

K&L Notes

A Cabernet-based blend in the Bordeaux Left Bank tradition, with about half Cabernet, and the balance Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a tiny amount of Petit Verdot. In Robert Parker's 5th Edition Buyer's Guide he writes that "Andrew Will's wines have virtually perfect tannins. They are present but buffered by the loads of dominating sweet fruit. Furthermore, what is amazing about Chris Camarda's wines is that they are concentrated yet grateful. Camarda's (wines) blend power with elegance, concentration with finesse, and supersweet fruit with definition. Chris Camarda is a brilliant winemaker." Named after his nephew and son respectively, Andrew Will was founded in 1989 by Chris Camarda with an emphasis on producing wines from Bordeaux varietals. Since its inception, Andrew Will has played a tremendous role in putting Washington State on map as a source for serious wines. Camarda sources from three Columbia Valley vineyards to make his wines at his Vashon Island winery just off-shore from Seattle, including the sustainably farmed Champoux Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills, which Andrew Will co-owns.

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.