Hello friends. Today’s wine represents the gateway drug into the greater Andrew Will lineup, and it comes from a vineyard that surprised the hell out of me:
As soon as I saw the tech sheet for this wine, my jaw dropped: [TEXT WITHHELD]
Talk about burying the lede! Champoux fruit in the black label? Really?!?
I went back and double-checked myself, because my gut was that none of the black label Cabernets we’ve offered from Andrew Will ever had a bit of Champoux fruit in it. Turns out my baby-addled brain isn’t so terribly eroded after all. We’ve previously offered the 2009 (Two Blondes and Discovery Vineyards), the 2010 (all Two Blondes), and the 2012 (all Two Blondes). This 2014 is 100% Champoux, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, from vines averaging 25 years of age.
It’s possible one of the vintages we missed had some Champoux fruit in it, but I don’t think so. And speaking of missed vintages, this is a VERY easy wine to miss. Production of the black label is never very high, and restaurants eat this stuff up, either using it as an expensive ($20+) glass-pour, or using it to have a $70 Andrew Will wine on their list (as opposed to the usual $120 and up).
The wine was released just before the end of 2015, and it has been suggested to me (at first gently, then with more urgency) that it won’t last very far into 2016. I tasted it on December 17, which was too late to sneak into the 2015 lineup. But I actually gave some thought to tossing it in as a New Year’s Eve bonus offer, because the wine is really excellent, and it has been difficult to wait.
I probably should have known there was Champoux fruit here, since my note covers all the basics of this vineyard: blackcurrant fruit, violet florals, minty top-notes, and tarry/graphitic bass notes. It’s a glorious, soaring nose, very expressive for such a young wine. All the charms of the 2014 vintage are on display here. This is deep, rich, and supple (14.2% listed alc), an easy drinker with tannins that are present (you know it’s Cabernet) but combed to a fine sheen. The classy Andrew Will house style is certainly on display here. The fruit quality and barrel regimen bear more than a striking resemblance to the white label wines, with the biggest difference being time in barrel (just 13 months here) and overall age (the white label 2012s are just now being released). For those of us interested in Andrew Will at an accessible tag, I think we’ll be willing to overlook those differences and enjoy this black label Cab for its unapologetic deliciousness.
First come first served up to 24 bottles, and the wine should arrive in the next week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.