Champoux. Ciel du Cheval. You can argue that there are better vineyards in Washington, but you won’t likely win. Reds from these two vineyards always command hefty prices…almost always, that is. Soos Creek Champoux and Ciel du Cheval reds give new meaning to the term “value.” These two wines, with their amazing Cabernet backbones, are the best priced Washington big reds. Also today, the Wine Spectator 94 point Red Mountain Red from Fidelitas. Even more great juice.
About Champoux Vineyard
If there were a candidate for a Washington State “First Growth,” Champoux would be it. Wines made from its fruit are some of the most sought after from Washington.
Champoux Vineyard’s first blocks were first planted in 1972, making them some of the oldest in the state. The age of the vines, impeccable management, and a unique terroir combine to grow grapes that make terrific wines. The vineyard now consists of 170 acres of mixed varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Lemburger, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot, Riesling, Muscat, and Chardonnay.
Woodward Canyon, Quilceda Creek, and Andrew Will are all partner wineries of Champoux Vineyards along with Vineyard Manager, Paul Champoux. Champoux Vineyard is located in Alderdale, Washington, part of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
About Ciel de Cheval Vineyard
When wine experts consider Washington State’s great vineyards, one name that consistently appears near the top of any list is Ciel du Cheval Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. Famed for the elegance and complexity of the wines it produces, Ciel du Cheval and its owner Jim Holmes have become near-legendary exemplars of what Washington wine is all about.
The desirability of fruit from Ciel du Cheval can be seen in the names of the wineries that produce wine from the vineyard: Quilceda Creek, Andrew Will, Betz Family, DeLille, Fidelitas, Mark Ryan, McCrea Cellars, and Cadence – among others.
“It’s great to have such a positive reputation,” admits Jim Holmes. “But it’s one of those things that feels temporary because there’s always the next guy coming up around the corner somewhere!”
But what isn’t temporary at Ciel du Cheval are the two ingredients of success that Holmes feels are critical. “Dirt and climate, climate and dirt,” he says when asked how he accounts for his vineyard’s success.
$34.15 in any 12 bottle order ($37.95 retail)
Man oh man – you have to be kidding me! Very Champoux – huge, super-inviting flavors of black cherry, cassis and blueberry are incredibly juicy, playing off a sage note on the supple, perfectly integrated finish. Here’s the win-win: this will drink fantastically from the day it arrives, and has outstanding balance to age for years. – Marcus
A blend consisting of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot. The Champoux Cab contains grapes from seven blocks of the vineyard including some that are the primary sources for Quilceda Creek’s 100 point wines.
The color is exceptionally dark and the flavors are complex and very concentrated. This vineyard is now at the top of its game. – the winery
An April Avalon Wine Club Selection – 15% off for members of any of our clubs.
$34.15 in any 12 bottle order ($37.95 retail)
I need a new superlative. Awesome. The word that comes to mind is harmony – red and black fruits, dark and bright character, sweet fruit and mineral. The red raspberry top note and black currant bottom end makes this irresistible now; the fine tannins keep adding harmony and aging potential. – Marcus
The berry size in this vineyard was small which resulted in darker, more concentrated and tannic wines so the winemaker reduced the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon down to 56%. The other wines in the blend are Cabernet Franc 22% and Merlot 22%. Ciel du Cheval is easily one of the top vineyards in the Pacific Northwest for Bordeaux varietals. – the winery
at right, the Larsen family, owners of Soos Creek Wine Cellars
Fidelitas’ Charlie Hoppes makes big red blends from some of Washington State’s best fruit. HIs best wines are scarce and sell out quickly. We’ve had a passion for Charlie’s wines since his first vintage in 2000.
240 cases produced
Fidelitas Red Mountain Red 2008
$47.20 in any 12 bottle order($49.95 retail)
Wine Spectator – 94 points: Supple, generous and relatively light on its feet, dancing with red berry, watermelon and rhubarb flavors, remaining ripe and focused through the long, deftly balanced finish. This has wonderful intensity and grace. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2018. 241 cases made. – H.S.
Garnet in color, this red blend showcases the bright fruit and spice that the region is known for. Red currant, ripe strawberry, cardamom and vanilla bean create an aroma profile with just a hint of eucalyptus. The juicy palate is layered with cranberry, bing cherry and a touch of white pepper, all set in to a full-bodied wine with soft tannins and a smooth, well-balanced finish. Drink now through 2018. – the winery
Avalon’s Northwest Big Reds Club features hard to get, limited production, highly rated red wines from Washington and Oregon, from wineries including Owen Roe, Abeja, Mark Ryan, Buty, Reynvaan, Andrew Will, and Woodward Canyon. We’ve sent Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate’s highly rated reds numerous times over the years.
Highly-rated and rising-star wineries alike seek out Avalon and offer us their wines. Wine Club members benefit from our access to special, limited bottlings. 15% off all wine reorders.
April 2012 Club Selections
Soos Creek Champoux 2009 Retail $38 Club $32.25
Baer Arctos 2009 Retail $45 Club $39.90
P.S. Don’t forget about our new Build a Case program. Buy a few bottles now, a few bottles later and when you hit 12 bottles, we’ll apply the 10% discount to your full order. Simply select “Build a Case” in your shipping preferences or let me know you’d like to build a case – it’s that easy.