This May I met Ciel du Cheval winemaker Richard Holmes at the 2013 Revelry on Red Mountain. He kindly sent me two of his wines to sample and review if I liked them.
Today I'm including my impressions of his 2012 Ciel du Cheval Viognier.
The wine in the Côtes de Ciel 2012 Ciel du Cheval Viognier was made from the Ciel du Cheval 1994 Viognier vineyard block on Red Mountain. They were whole cluster pressed and cold fermented. This wine is available only through retail outlets in Washington and Northern Idaho.
Tasting Notes Côtes de Ciel 2012 Ciel du Cheval Viognier
Color: Pale straw.
Nose: Pear, lemon and petrol. Honey as the wine warmed.
Palate: Dry, tart pear, heavy mid-palate, tannin in the texture with a spike of acid on middle of tongue, toast on the finish. Honeyed finish as it warmed. Very enjoyable with a dressed salad. Suggest pairing with crab or shrimp Caesar salad.
Day two: More my speed, toasty with taffy and white nectarine nose. Full palate of white nectarine and honey with notes of citrus and the pith, pleasing acid on the long fruity finish, drank smooth and bright.
Thoughts: I often think of Viognier as a light, perfumed, delicate wine. The 2012 Côtes de Ciel Viognier was unexpectedly more robust on day one. On day two I thought it was more true to the interpretation of the varietal. Well done Richard. For the most enjoyment I would open and then drink this wine the next day or hold for another few months. This is a very good wine, just a little young when I sampled it. Expect great things from this winery. Recommended.
AVA: Red Mountain
Closure: Natural cork
Sample provided by the winery
Ciel du Cheval
1625 South 374th Court
Federal Way, Washington 98003