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See all graphics and Complete Email Online Andrew Will Winery- 2004 Releases, Interview, Awards

Andrew Will's

Sophisticated, Rich Reds Released

Avalon Favorites Champoux Vineyard Red and Ciel du Cheval Red

Andrew Will's Chris CamardaAs Chris Camarda has developed his style of winemaking over the years, he has focused on the primacy of the vineyard over variety. It is now the driving force behind Andrew Will Winery. While the idea of terroir has become almost a hollow marketing tool, it has great attraction for Chris in its purest form. Now he has released his 2004 vineyard designate red wines.

Overall, Camarda is extremely pleased with the 2004 vintage, and although he dislikes comparing his wines from vintage to vintage, he does admit that 2003 was a hot year and the flavor profiles somewhat reflected the heat. Only a good winemaker can take the fruit from a hot year and turn it into an elegant drink, and the high marks he received for his ’03 wine is a testament to his skills.

The more moderate climate of 2004 shows in the precise, sophisticated balance of his 2004 reds and the transparent layers of complex flavors of fruit, spice, oak, and herbs the wines exhibit.

Andrew Will
Champoux Vineyard Red 04 $53.95/$59.95

Parker's Wine Advocate gave 93 points to the previous vintage.

Wow the nose! Impossibly inviting aromas of sweet black cherry pie with black raspberry, dark chocolate, and hints of baking spice. I just couldn't stop smelling it. The Champoux fruit core is dense, wound up with black and red red fruit in innummerable layers. Supple and silky with powder-fine tannins.

The whole wine is wrapped with a delicate Bordeaux-like herbal note that adds complexity like the sizzle of a jazz ride cymbal--it just fits. Give it air, give it time and you'll see why this is one of the finest wines from one of the finest vineyards in the entire Pacific Northwest. - ml

44% Cab 22% Merlot 25% Cab Franc 9% Petit Verdot

For the 2004 Champoux Vineyard blend, Camarda changed the mix around, using less Cabernet Sauvignon than in previous vintages, adding some Petit Verdot and filling out the rest with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The result is a beautiful, food-hugging wine that will gracefully age for many years. Camarda says the red and black fruits meld beautifully in this Bordeaux-style blend.

Andrew Will
Ciel du Cheval 04

Perfumey red fruit with intense notes of cassis give way to gorgeously ripe black raspberry and cherry. This is a tightly wound wine, with great concentration and polished tannins. Practice patience and you'll find yet another collectible Ciel du Cheval red wine from Chris Camarda. - ml

Parker's Wine Advocate gave the 2002 and 2003 vintages of this wine both 94 points.

The 2004 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard blend has the best aromatics out of all his 2004 wines, says Camarda, who has a financial interest in the vineyard. The blend is 80 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 20 percent Cabernet Franc.

Winemaker Chris Camarda says: " “I believe that an individual piece of property can form a signature - an identity - and it is that face that is the focus of my winemaking, “

“We are trying to let the vineyards reveal themselves. I believe that if Washington is ever to be considered a great wine region we need to establish the characteristics of our geographical areas and the characteristics of each vineyard in those areas."

He also believes that blends of varieties also make the most complex and attractive wines. The Cabernet Franc and Merlot, two grapes which mature beautifully over the long growing season in Eastern Washington, when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, best express the characteristics of a vineyard.

Andrew Will
Sheridan Vineyard Red 04


Chris Camarda's own Estate "Two Blondes" Vineyard is next door to this fine vineyard. 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Andrew Will’s most westerly property, near Zillah. Silt and basalt soils at 1200 feet elevation. Yields are naturally low.

43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.

A deep fruit nose with black raspberry and dark plums, vanilla and fresh tobacco. Structured, bright cherry and black raspberry flavors are woven with dusty tannins, graphite, and espresso with lovely barrel spice. The Sheridan will evolve nicely over the next several years. -ml

“We won’t make a Sheridan Vineyard blend in 2006,” Camarda said. “The ’04 Sheridan is one of the best vintages we’ve gotten from that vineyard. It has softness, good complexity and very good flavors, but we want to go with our own estate fruit in 2006.”

The 2004 Sheridan Vineyard blend has spice and plum flavors in the mouth. Camarda says it is the best fruit he has received from the vineyard.

New Feature Article on Avalonwine.com

Chris Camarda Continues
Drilling to the Core
of Great Winemaking
While Hovering at the Top of the Heap

by Christina Kelly
October 2006

The last two years for Chris Camarda has been a mixed blessing, but the owner/winemaker for Andrew Will Winery continues to penetrate the heart of blending wines with elegance, concentration and a match for food.
In the past few years, Camarda lost his beloved wife Anne to cancer, dropped single-vineyard varietals for hand-crafted blends and nurtured his own estate vineyard, Two Blondes, which will replace other vineyards in his portfolio. He will soon be named Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 2006 Winemaker of the Year for artisan wines.

But overall, Camarda, a relentless enthusiast of Washington state vineyards, shrugs and says life is going well and he and his family (son Willie, 19 and daughter Luci, 16) are recovering after the loss of Anne. While Camarda is the soul of Andrew Will Winery, Anne was the heart, and the family is learning the pace of a different rhythm without her.

On the verge of his new 2004 releases, the 59-year-old lights up about the vintage, showing the passion and excitement that elevated his wines to the top tier after 17 years of production. The wines are highly praised as true expressions of the vineyard, without manipulating or over-extracting the fruit, or using oak as a blanket that hides great flavors.

Camarda believes vineyards hold the key to a unique identity—a signature—that consumers will come to identify. He also believes that in addition to the process of minimally-invasive winemaking, how he blends those signature vineyards is the art of his work, a left-brain, right-brain blend of skills. The vineyard is the canvas and his fruit becomes the palette from which he chooses his blends.

While many people talk about terroir, or expression of the land in the wine, Camarda studies it, lives and breathes it until he has that distinct taste in the bottle....

Read the full article

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Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard red 04







Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval 04









Andrew Will Sheridan Vineyard 04







Chris Camarda in Two Blondes Vineyard

Andrew Will's Annie Camarda with daughter Lili
Anne Camarda with Daughter Lili

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