With succession comes obvious pressure. Sitting down to the heir apparent, Will Carmada, now for the second time, I saw that Will had fully settled into his role as not only Andrew Will winemaker but Andrew Will brand ambassador. Will has a deep understanding and passion for the family brand that he represents — one of the historic wineries in the Pacific Northwest. Most know Andrew Will for their red blends with great aging potential. I’ve had many of these wines going back to the early 1990s that continue to shine despite most from their era being a bit tired or over the hill. I have always been amazed that the wines show incredible freshness despite their age. Months ago I sat down with my colleague, Dr. Jae Hong, as we sampled the 2002 Andrew Will ‘Two Blondes’ Red Wine (WWB, 93) and I blind tasted this wine, mistaking it for a 2008 vintage wine. Will is a remarkable, down to earth guy, who is producing some stellar new wines. If you haven’t had a chance to sample these wines for some time, they all come highly recommended. Will has also landed his wine at Daniel NYC on glass pour which speaks to the quality of the wines and is a tremendous milestone for Washington State wines.
Will makes some outstanding white wines and Rose. His new 2018 Andrew Will ‘Cuvee Lucia’ Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 92) has 15% Semillon artfully blended in to add to the gorgeous texture of the wine. This beautiful wine will cellar well for at least another six years, picking up tertiary notes. The best wine I tried was the stunning 2014 Andrew Will ‘Sorella’ Red Wine (WWB, 95) which is amongst the best Andrew Will wines I have ever had. This later released wine is only an infant now and will evolve well over the next twenty years. Learn more about these stunning wines at http://www.andrewwill.com/home/ Here are the beautiful new release wines by Andrew Will.
2018 Andrew Will ‘Cuvee Lucia’ Sauvignon Blanc- This is the third vintage that this wine has been made by Will Carmada as the 2018 ‘Cuvee Lucia’ is a compelling blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc with the remainder Semillon. This wine shows better aromatically when a bit warmed up. The nose shows wonderful flinty tones with shades of honeydew melon and toasty brioche that all come together nicely in the glass. The texture here is outstanding, as is the lip-smacking acidity. The lemon zest and melon tones really shine on the palate, with minerals. Drink 2019-2025- 92
2016 Andrew Will ‘Two Blondes Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc- Sourced from the Yakima Valley, the 2017 ‘Two Blondes Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc weighs in at 13.5% alcohol and is 100% varietal. The wine was aged in 20% new French for fifteen months prior to bottling. The wine begins with gorgeous red bell pepper with sagebrush and a touch of white pepper as this is a classic Cabernet Franc nose. There is a wonderful sense of elegance to this wine. The texture is really good as bright red fruits dance with minerals and potpourri. The long finish lingers. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2014 Andrew Will ‘Two Blondes Vineyard’ Red Wine- Sourced from this famed vineyard in the Yakima Valley the 2014 ‘Two Blondes Vineyard’ is a silky blend of 56% Merlot with 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Sauvignon with just a touch of Malbec added. The nose shows high toned red fruits that mingle with chocolate covered raspberry and sagebrush with black tea aromas that all sing in harmony in the glass. Silky, with an impeccable texture, and soft tannins, this shows off creme de cassis, anise, sagebrush and coffee ground flavors. This has a wonderful sense of place and balance. Enjoy this beautiful wine over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2035- 94
2014 Andrew Will ‘Ciel du Cheval Vineyard’ Red Wine- The 2014 ‘Ciel du Cheval’ Red Wine is a fantastic blend of 61% Merlot with 39% Cabernet Franc that was aged in oak (30% new largely Taraunsaud) for twenty months prior to bottling. This inky colored wine begins with powerful aromas of salted meats with blackberry compote and Turkish coffee that all nicely develop on the nose. The texture is gorgeous as this stunning wine has a seamless quality that glides across the mid-palate. Moderately tanninc, this beautiful wine shows off espresso bean, dark chocolate shavings, graphite and black cherry cordial flavors. The exceedingly long finish with minerals, light tannins and black fruits, complete this stunning bottling. While complex and delicious in its youth, this stunning wine will cellar well for decades. Drink 2021-2040- 94
2014 Andrew Will ‘Discovery Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2014 ‘Discovery Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in 40% in French oak for twenty months prior to bottling. This is the last vintage that they have elected to make from this vineyard. On the nose this takes on incredible aromas of black cherry and sagebrush with shades of black licorice and dusty terror that all come together on the nose. The balance of the wine shows through with black cherry compote, mocha, anise and sagebrush tones with pipe tobacco flavors that linger long on the palate. This is quite rich but it has wonderful elegance and sense of place. Drink 2020-2040- 94
2014 Andrew Will ‘Sorella’ Red Wine- The 2014 ‘Sorella’ by Andrew Will and the talented Will Carmada is an incredible wine from this warm vintage in Washington. Sourced from the esteemed Champoux Vineyard, the ‘Sorella’ is comprised of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon with 11% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The incredibly perfumed nose entices as the wine slowly unveils chocolate covered Arabica bean, crushed mint, black cherry compote and shades of leather and damp earth that all combine marvelously in the glass. The texture of this wine and sense of balance is gorgeous. Mocha, anise, tar and creme de cassis with red cherry preserves with coffee ground flavors all marvelously are woven together on the palate. I am a bit surprised at this degree of freshness considering the obvious heat of the vintage. Outstanding in its youth, this beautiful wine will have a very long life ahead of it. Drink 2020-2040- 95