A handful of years back, Andrew Will–one of Washington's best wineries–began 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, THE greatest/most famous Cabernet vineyard in Washington...you know, source of multiple 100-point Quilceda Creek Cabs and amazing Andrew Will Sorellas? Oh 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 amazing Andrew Will Champoux Cabernet Sauvignon 2018!
Without getting caught up in numbers, there is one on the front label that makes a huge difference: 13.5. That's 13.5% alcohol on a gorgeous Champoux Vineyard Cabernet from a spectacular vintage. I'll admit I was excited just to see the number let alone to experience the overall balance and wonderful drinkability that, sure enough, was evident the second I first sipped it. The only thing that's missing is the "heat." There's the classic Champoux Cab fruit profile of black cherry complimented by a burst of black raspberry, plus accents of tobacco and pastry cream. A super-supple texture adds to the super-delicious drinkability. If, like me, you have cravings for all the Cabernet flavor without the extra octane oomph, I'm convinced you'll love this. -Marcus
My first Andrew Will wines, the 2002s, totally rocked me. They were unlike anything I had ever tasted. 2002 Champoux was like a punch to my soul...a good punch. I recall those vintages of Andrew Will as massively structured, chewy-tannined beasts.
As much as I love Andrew Will’s Champoux Vineyard blend, since the early 2000s it has transitioned to a Merlot/Cab Franc-based wine instead of a Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine. Not mincing words, I prefer Cab as the backbone of Washington reds and I especially love Champoux Cab.
It was right around then that the winery announced they’d stop making variety-based wines and instead make only vineyard-based wines. For more than a decade, that’s what they stuck with.
Then they reincorporated single-variety wines at a lower price tier: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, and Merlot, all labeled as Columbia Valley. The best of them, while still labeled as “Columbia Valley,” were 100% Champoux Vineyard, perhaps THE greatest/most well-known Cabernet vineyard in the state. It wasn’t a secret–we certainly wrote about the impeccable fruit source–and finally the winery seems to have acknowledged that it makes a hell of a lot of sense to put Champoux on the label!
From the winery: In 2017 we decided that the Cabernet from Champoux has long been established and that we should recognize that on the bottle. Hence the creation of a full new line-up of single vineyard wines featuring our signature grapes.
The 2017 vintage started out with a cool spring which was an extension of the preceding cool, wet winter throughout Eastern Washington. This meant that both bud break and bloom took place behind some of the more recent warm vintages. July and August warmed up with temperatures higher than average leading to a typical harvest time of mid-September for the first grapes. By the end of September, the temperatures started to cool down allowing for extra hang time and a more extending harvest window.
The 2017 Vintage is already shaping up to be vintage with a focus on elegance and freshness.