Two 2010s from Andrew Will

Hello friends. I recently tasted through Chris Camarda’s lineup of 2010s for Andrew Will, and what a thrilling lineup it is. There were only a handful of Washington vintners in 2010 who had enough years of winemaking experience to have seen truly cool vintages before. That comfort level was readily apparent tasting Chris’ wines. It’s clear that he took what the vintage gave him and didn’t try to force over-ripeness on a vintage that wanted to be anything but ripe. Instead, his 2010s are sleek, elegant beauties, wines likely to have immortal aging curves.

Here’s Jeb Dunnuck’s intro to the 2010s: Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “Made by Chris Camarda from his base on Vashon Island just west of Seattle, Andrew Will Cellars delivers classic, elegant wines that show solid typicity and age-worthy profiles. His 2010s are superb across the board and possess slightly reserved aromatics with firm, pure textures. Downright backwards, especially when compared to his 2009s, they will all benefit from short- term cellaring and, I suspect, these scores will seem a bit low once they flesh out. “

As we always do, we’ll begin with the two wines in the Andrew Will lineup from Champoux Vineyard, one of Washington’s true superstar vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills (location here). These two always seem to be the first of the lineup to sell out, and with strong reviews already in print from several publications, there’s no time to waste:

2010 Andrew Will Champoux Vineyard

The blend here is 42% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc, and 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, from Champoux vines averaging 30 years of age. It sees about two years in barrel, all French, 35% new. It starts with the classic Champoux nose of graphite and blackcurrant. The palate has a real stony/graphitic core, enveloped by cassis, espresso, tar. A classic in the making, this has structure to burn, especially considering the high proportion of Merlot. Drink it young for its vibrancy and toothsome tannins, or better yet, hold onto it and watch it slowly shape-shift over the years.

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

2010 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 34 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 73% of the blend. It’s rounded out with 20% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc.

Add wafts of woodsmoke to the graphite and cassis from above, and this wine is just something else in the mouth, seemingly chiseled directly out of Horse Heaven Hills rock. It’s a powerhouse, a brooder, the fruit completely locked up right now behind walls of minerality and tannic structure. What fruit is there is lovely, grace notes of blackberry and rhubarb, but you’ll barely notice it because you’ll be so focused on the flawless texture, the incipient power. Jeb puts the drinking window out to 2030 for this one, and I suspect even that may be a little conservative. Anyone who had kids in 2010 would do well to lock some of this up as a birth year wine and stash it away in a dark cool corner for a couple decades.

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

This is the 2010 vintage in a nutshell, embraced with affection by a man who has seen vintages like this before. Please limit order requests to 12 bottles of each wine, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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