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Review: 2013 Cotes de Ciel Merlot, Nebbiolo, and Cabernet Sauvignon

Cotes de Ciel makes its wines from its own Ciel du Cheval vineyard in Washington’s Red Mountain AVA. It’s hard to believe, but the 2013 vintage wines reviewed below are all current releases. Let’s try them.

2013 Cotes de Ciel Merlot Ciel du Cheval Vineyard – Supple and effusive, this wine shows that it has some age on it, and that’s helped it settle into quite a delightful groove. Notes of black cherry pair nicely with hints of violet, baking chocolate, and a ripe raspberry note on the finish. The conclusion comes across as fresh and lively — this wine is drinking at its prime today and has some years of life ahead of it. A / $50

2013 Cotes de Ciel Nebbiolo Ciel du Cheval Vineyard – A bit sharp and also a bit austere, this is an unusual offering, with notes of red apple, strawberry, and baking spice in a surprisingly sweet melange. The wine becomes drying with time in glass, with notes of rhubarb and black cherry emerging. A bit scattered but effusive and bright with fruit, it’s an unusual and curious wine which works best with a substantial meal. B / $50

2013 Cotes de Ciel Cabernet Sauvignon Ciel du Cheval Vineyard – The most austere and restrained wine of the bunch, this is a tannic powerhouse that’s loaded with graphite, licorice, and wet forest floor, its fruit pared away to leave behind the essence of the earth. The wine certainly has some years ahead of it, but one wonders exactly where this tight-as-a-vise experience will end up down the road. Some time in glass lets a currant/blueberry mix percolate, but heavy notes of cola and tea leaf tamp that down on the finish. B / $40


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2013 Cotes de Ciel Nebbiolo Ciel du Cheval Vineyard



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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