Gonna Wash that Wine Right Out'a My Hair --
Plus, our NW Big Red Deals of the Week
You've got to be old like me to remember
the musical South Pacific and the song referenced in today's header....
I couldn't resist, although it'd be more accurate to say that I'd be
sucking up every tiny bit of wine, if it was made from Champoux Vineyard
We have savvy wine customers who keep a
standing request for info on anything made with Champoux Vineyard fruit-
they want to know! The vineyard generates the kind of loyalty seen in
Washington's cult wines - and indeed, the vineyard is partially owned
by cult favs Quilceda Creek, Andrew Will, and Woodward Canyon wineries. If
there were a candidate for a Premier Grand Cru Classé vineyard
in Washington State, this would be it.
Champoux Vineyard was planted in 1972, and
the age of the vines, impeccable management, and a unique terroir combine
to grow grapes that make terrific wines. Several new wines have just
been released using Champoux fruit, and we still have a few that were
released late last year.
Possibly the best wine made from
the Champoux Vineyard, Andrew Will's Sorella 2003, has just been released.
Will Sorella 03 $62.05/$68.95
Sorella, named in honor of owner/winemaker Chris Camardas sister, is always
a blend from Champoux vineyard; 50% block 1 & 2
Cabernet Sauvignon (30+ year old vines and the heart of the wine), 23%
Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot. The
2003 Sorella stands out as a brooding, complex wine with the perfect combination
of power and elegance.
Sorella is Andrew Will winemaker Chris Camarda’s best wine
and the 2003 is exceptional. Smaller yields and a long hang time
added to the complexity of the fruit. Warm weather and cool nights
helped make for some incredibly intense yet balanced wine.
Deep blackberry and
coffee/chocolate/mocha notes, leather and licorice flavors form
the core of this wine with dark cherry, almost violet highlights.
Cedar and toasted oak notes echo in the background. Silky tannins
and a supple texture turn this muscular wine into an elegant beauty.
Good full ruby. Sexy aromas of deep black
raspberry , minerals and dark chocolate. Rich, lush and sweet, with a
captivating minerality supporting the black fruit and chocolate flavors.
Really sappy and full in the middle, and impressively long on the aftertaste.
93 points, Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar.
2003 Sorella is great paired with braised lamb with Moroccan spices layered
over saffron basmati pilaf folded with mango chutney and drizzled with a little
yogurt raita. This wine calls out for a food with complex flavors
to pair with it. Not that it wouldn’t go perfectly with a Pepper Crusted
Beef Tenderloin or a Prime Rib, I’m thinking something with Moroccan
spices (cumin, coriander and cinnamon) to play on the depth of the wine.
Andrew Will also makes a red blend
from the Champoux Vineyard, called
Will Champoux Red Wine 03
The 2003 Andrew Will Champoux Red Wine
is a blend of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon (59%), Cabernet Franc (21%), Merlot
(15%), and Petit Verdot (5%), all from Champoux Vineyard. Average age of the
vines is over 23 years old.
From a very ripe vintage, a complex nose of black plum, black cherry, and cassis
is complemented by rich, viscous, multifaceted flavors, with hints of toasted
espresso bean, fresh turned earth, white pepper, anise, meaty smoke, and just
a skoosh of jasmine, all entwined around a strong, silky core of tannins. Acidity
is fresh and exquisitely balanced, boding well for long aging.
The 2003 Champoux is a lovely experience to drink now,
and has all the hallmarks of aging well for continued great tasting experiences
through 2010. -jy
Wine Advocate gave the 2002 vintage a
rating of 93 points.
Released last month, and still available, are two wines made with Champoux
fruit from Fidelitas and O-S (Owen Sullivan).
Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux 03
Very limited top of the line Cab from
Charlie Hoppes, a world class cellar selection. 2003 was an exceptionally hot
year in Washington State. This vintage of Charlie's coveted Champoux Cab was
made from a smaller harvest of tiny, intensely flavored berries. Charlie uses
words like "intense" and "lush", "great length" and "richness of character" to
describe this wine, considered by many Fidelitas loyalists to be his best wine.
(Owen Sullivan) Cabernet Franc 03
We sent this stunning Cab Franc
to Avalon's December NW Big Reds Club. Chris Camarda (winemaker at Andrew Will)
says the Champoux Vineyard grows the best Cabernet Franc in the US, and this
wine shows us how he comes to believe that.
Aromas of crushed Bing cherries
mingle with hints of tobacco and cinnamon. This mouth filling wine has a voluptuous
well rounded texture. The flavors of black currant and dark chocolate complement
the distinctive creamed cherry core of Champoux Vineyard Cab Franc. The delicious
lengthy finish is supported by powerful rich soft tannins.
Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
"The 2002 continues a tradition of "Dedication Series" Old Vine
Cabs that started in 1981. Each year, his finest offering is bottled with a
label featuring a different Walla Walla area pioneer, and "...every year
it's one of the most-anticipated releases in the Walla Walla Valley" --
Wine Press NW Magazine.
2002 vintage was warmer than 2001 and this wine reflects that. Flavors of
ripe black fruits and cassis marry with spicy oak and vanilla. The color
is dark purple and the flavor is concentrated, rich and long; the texture
is supple and silky, but still the wine has fantastic grip. This red wine
will benefit greatly from additional cellaring and, with proper storage,
should last for fifteen years or more from vintage.
Old Vine Cabs, vintage after vintage, show a range of flavors, from classic,
wonderfully ripe black cherry, plum, and cassis, to smoke, vanilla, and velvety
tannins. Usually, when aged, his wines acquire fascinating flavors of oolong
tea, lychee, tobacco, herbs, and cedar, all passing rapidly across the plate
in a tempest of evolving flavors and textures.
Try a sampler case of wines
made from Champoux:
- 2 - Andrew Will's
- 2 - Andrew Will Champoux 03
Canyon's Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon 02
- 3 - Fidelitas Champoux Cab 03 and the
- 3 -
O-S Cabernet Franc
for $560.00, $5.79 off the regular discounted case price.
NW Big Red Deals of the Week
Marcus and staff recently discovered two real value Big Reds, the Nota Bene
Abbinare 02 and the Canon de Sol Meritage 02. We sent them to Avalon's January
"New Discoveries" Wine Club. For under $30, you can't do much better than these
two interesting, satisfying, great values.
Canon de Sol Meritage 02
A wine with a huge scent of sweet plum, blackberry, and cherry fruit, floral
notes of black violets mingle with hints of eucalyptus, cedar, anise, and tar.
Flavors are of restrained fruit, licorice, tar, white pepper and spice, with
a long finish of caramelized sugar, smooth tannins, and a hint of incense cedar
needles. This is a really god value at $28, and compares well in quality to winemaker
Charlie Hoppes' Fidelitas "Optu" Meritage 02 ($35). -jy
Nota Bene Abbinare 02
What an interesting and satisfying wine. The nose is full of big, black cherry
fruit, hints of caraway and forest, and a hint of oak tannin. The flavors are
of black raspberry, licorice, tobacco leaf, and typical Super Tuscan style fruit.
there's cocoa and bittersweet chocolate on the finish, with a hint of toast and
An unusual combination of grapes makes for a lovely food wine. A fine
grained dry finish with a hint of spice is refreshiing rather than cloying. Calls
for a big grilled meat dinner like Osso Buco. - jy
Wine Club Memberships Keep Giving!
Every month your client or friend gets their shipment of wine from one
of Avalon's wine clubs, they'll be reminded of your thoughtfulness
and appreciation. Check out our four clubs here:
For more NW Big Reds, try
Highest Rated NW Big Reds
Best Deal $30 or Under Big Reds
Newly Released NW Wines
If we may help with an order, please let
us know. We're available by phone at 541-752-7418 from 8AM Pacific time
until 6PM Pacific time. Or you can call me at my direct line at 541-424-8004.
Thanks for your support -we appreciate your
orders and your suggestions. Our customers always give us our best ideas!
Jean, Marcus, Chris, Kevin, and Wendy
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333