In The Glass: Remy Wines Ciel du Cheval Sangiovese 2011
Every now and then, luck is most certainly on my side. On a recent two-day trip to the town of McMinnville, Oregon, I ran into one of my favorite Oregon winemakers: Remy Drabkin of Remy Wines. With a quick hello and an invitation to get a sneak peek and sample of Remy’s not-yet-released 2011 Sangiovese, I was anxious to meet Remy at her winery the next day.
As soon as Remy poured the Remy Wines 2011 Ciel Du Cheval Sangiovese, I immediately fell in love with the bright red cherry and dusty aromas that divinely permeated the bowl of the glass. Complex and rich on the palate, layers of cherries, leather and earth were complemented by a beautifully crisp and zesty finish – brought on by a solid acidic backbone. Focused, fresh and elegant, this was a true and pure expression of the Sangiovese varietal – most definitely outstanding.
Prompted by its stand-out qualities, I did some research on the vineyard that Remy sourced fruit from for the 2011 Sangiovese: Ciel du Cheval – located in Wahington’s famed Red Mountain AVA and known for producing wines with great complexity an elegance. During my research, I came across an article on AvalonWine.com written by a colleague, Cole Danehower, who toured the Ciel du Cheval vineyard with vineyard owner, Jim Holmes. With many prized wineries sourcing fruit from Ciel du Cheval, Jim attributes the successful reputation of the vineyard to soil, climate and the geological foundation the vineyard is planted on.
“The forces that helped form Ciel du Cheval, and the Red Mountain geology in general, were truly gigantic. The deep bedrock of most of the Columbia Basin is basalt, formed from the massive lava outflows caused by intense volcanic activity. On top of the basalt lie layers of sediment deposited by repeated ancient floods – the largest floods ever recorded. And on top of the sediment are layers of sand and silt from eons of erosion and weathering.” (Cole Danehower, click here to read the full article.)
I wrote about Remy and her robust, single vineyard old-world style Italian varietal wines a few months ago in an article named, “Breaking Bread with Remy Drabkin of Remy Wines.” I’m seriously impressed by the fact that Remy successfully produces high caliber , big, bold reds that are not commonly found in the heart of Pinot Noir country, and I’m sure vineyard selection plays a level role with her unique winemaking styles. To date, I have absolutely loved every single one of her wines. From both of her labels, Remy Wines and Three Wives, it’s all good.