Hello friends. I recently tasted through the new 2009 single-vineyard releases from Andrew Will, and, wow, what an impressive lineup it is. It is also as accessible a vintage as I can remember tasting from Andrew Will. In many cases, Chris Camarda’s wines take years of bottle age before showing their finest. These 09s, on the other hand, are positively resplendent in their youth. 2009 is an immediate-gratification vintage across Washington, nice to have after the sharper-edged 2008s. It’s a pleasure to have a vintage like this once every four or five years: a vintage that doesn’t require endless cellaring or decanting; one that glories in its youthful charms.
As we always do, we’ll begin with the two wines from Champoux Vineyard, one of Washington’s true superstar vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills. These two always seem to be the first of the lineup to sell out, and with strong reviews for both set to appear in next month’s Wine Enthusiast, there’s no time to waste:
2009 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard
The blend here is 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot, from Champoux vines averaging 30 years of age. It sees about two years in barrel, all French, 35% new. A classic Champoux nose of black fruit and graphite leads us into a wine with gorgeous layering of fruit: crème de cassis, kirsch, and even venturing into some stone fruits and tropical fruits: a thrilling pastiche to behold. All of that fruit is cut with veins of graphite minerality, and this picks up incredible steam over the mid-palate and rolls into a chewy, black-tea-laden, ripe-tannin finish. This buckled my knees with its overt deliciousness.
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($62); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”
2009 Andrew Will “Sorella” (Champoux Vineyard)
Sorella, as it always does, comes only from the oldest sections of Champoux Vineyard (Block 1, Block 3, Circle Block), and the average vine age is 33 years, ancient by Washington standards. The elevage is the same as the Champoux: 35% new French oak for just shy of two years. The blend, however, differs: this is much more Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant, at 65% of the blend. It’s rounded out with 23% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. The nose is black, black, black: tar, graphite, and blackberry fruit. The palate is ultra-intense and concentrated, with loads of minerality and structure. It’s massive, a total powerhouse, and of the broad 09 lineup, this is perhaps the one that truly would benefit from some bottle age. A breathtaking example of the power and grace of old-vine Champoux Cabernet.
Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($75); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 95pts.”
First come first served up to 12 bottles of each wine, and the wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.