THAT Champoux Vineyard: New Merlot and Cab from Andrew Will

A handful of years back, Andrew Willone of Washington's best wineriesbegan making a series of "Columbia Valley" wines. Unlike their flagship reds (think Sorella) which are all vineyard blends, each of these Columbia Valley wines were grape variety-based (Cab, Merlot, etc.). The best of them, while labeled “Columbia Valley,” were 100% Champoux Vineyard, perhaps THE greatest/most well-known Cabernet vineyard in the know, source of the 100-point Quilceda Creek Cabs and the new 99-point Andrew Will Sorella? That Champoux Vineyard.

The winery finally figured out that it makes a hell of a lot of sense to put Champoux Vineyard on the label, so we present to you the first "official" Andrew Will Champoux Cabernet Sauvignon at the same time we present the best deal in Washington Merlot: Andrew Will Champoux Merlot. They might be half the price of Andrew Will's Sorella and Champoux blends, but they are way more than half as good.

$29.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($32.95 regular)

Serious, serious WOW factor here. I actually thought I made a mistake on the price–there was no way the Merlot I had in my glass could be this spectacular for the price. Powerful and pleasure-bent yet surprisingly elegant, it's packed with beautiful black and red fruits and the kind of supple, silky tannins that won't have you worrying about what food to pair it with so much as you worry if you bought enough. Normally we don't lead off with a Merlot if there's a Cab in the offer too but this is no ordinary Merlot.

$43.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($47.95 regular)

This strikes me as a baby Sorella (Andrew Will’s flagship wine), though to add “baby” to it might sound pejorative and it shouldn’t. Sorella’s average vine-age is 40 years-old so virtually any/all of its peers will seem “baby” in comparison. The Champoux Cab ‘17 boasts an average vine-age of 25 years, which is still impressive for Washington state. It has what I think is a classic Champoux Cab profile: black cherry and cassis feature prominently, along with subtle notes of tobacco, plum, and pastry. This is elegant and supple-tannined; it drinks well right out of the gate/bottle.