August 23, 2013
 

SEVEN HILLS
2010 CIEL DU CHEVAL
RED MOUNTAIN, WASHINGTON

Retail: $66.95 / btl (6 x 750 ml/cs)

 

About

Seven Hills Winery was established in 1988 and is one of Walla Walla Valley’s oldest and most respected wineries. Winemaker Casey McClellan is a fourth generation farmer whose acclaimed portfolio features an impressive lineup of vineyard-designated wines. His focus is on benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux blends from Red Mountain and Walla Walla Valley AVAs. Red Mountain has garnered a reputation for creating first-class wines and has been instrumental in putting Washington wines on the international map. 

Seven Hills’ involvement with Red Mountain predates its classification as an actual AVA by more than a decade. Here, Casey has access to old vines from the mid-70s that are the make up of this wine. The microclimate sees warmer temperatures, Southwest facing vineyards and high diurnal range.  The gravelly, shallow soils consistently produce concentrated fruit that boldly reflects its terroir. These wines are marked by minerality, balance and old-world sensibility. The 2010 vintage experienced a cool spring and summer, moderate autumn with extended ripening and low yields.  The Ciel du Cheval Red was aged for 23 months in 40% new French oak. This is a cult wine, sold in 6-bottle cases, of which only 587 were made.

"This [2010] vintage is more classically balanced, with tannin, acidity, fruit and savory aspects playing an equal part. We aged this in barrel longer than average, encouraging further elevation and integration prior to bottling. A dusty, sweet berry and pepper nose leads into black plum, olive and pepper palate on top of firm tannins and juicy acidity. The full finish is a dynamic red berry and tannin interplay. The wine is a bit bolder, and I expect it well age more slowly in bottle. Expect a solid 8-10 years of development in the cellar, and possibly longer." Casey McClellan, winemaker

 
 

Accolades

"A blend of 33% Merlot (from the original 1976 block), 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot and 13% Cabernet Franc, this shows Euro-style refinement from fist sniff to last swallow. The alcohol has climbed up a bit without any sacrifice of detail. A mix of berries, cherries and cassis, the fruits are woven around tightly defined, perfectly ripened tannins with an under layer of acid and mineral." -  93 points, The Wine Enthusiast 

"The most structured and tannic of the lineup, the 2010 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Wine is a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 16% Petit Verdot and 13% Cabernet Franc that spent 23 months in 40% new French oak. Floral and spice-dominated on the nose, with a core of currant, lead pencil and dusty pebble-like minerality showing more with air, it has a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, solid mid-palate depth and serious, yet fine grained, tannin on the finish. It needs a solid 2-3 years to integrate its structure, yet should have a solid 12-15+ years or more of ultimate longevity." Drink 2015-2025. 
89+ points, Wine Advocate

 

Also Available from Seven Hills

2012 Pinot Gris  Retail: $25.95 / btl (12 x 750 ml/cs)

 

Upcoming Events

After returning to NYC, Sherry Fest is heading to Toronto for the first time ever. October 9-10 @ The Gardiner Musuem. Details TBA.