2012 Cabernet Franc Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain


Three separate clones of Cabernet Franc were combined to create a complex wine with great structure. The first clone Cabernet Franc FPS 01 was originally from Italy where it is known to produce a highly aromatic wine with dense structure. The second clone, ENTAV-INRA 214 originated in the Loire Valley of France. Clone 214 adds additional complexity to the nose by providing dark fruit flavors and anise. The final clone, Entav-INRA 327 is known to have extraordinary structure while adding spice notes to the flavor profile. All three  clones were crushed and fermented separately in open-top fermenters. They were then placed in a mix of new and neutral French Oak barrels. After nineteen months of aging, barrels were individual selected for final inclusion in the wine. The wine was blended together and redistributed to the barrels for an additional three months aging prior to bottling.


A deep opaque wine, the nose opens with aromas of berries, currants, spice and subtle floral hints. Rich, dense velvety tannins  make the perfect bed for the complex flavors to mingle in your mouth.  The finish lingers. 196 Cases produced. 92 pts Wine Enthusiast.. Learn more ...

Varietal100% Cabernet Franc
Varietal Composition38% FPS Cabernet Franc 03
31% ENTAV Cabernet Franc 214
31% ENTAV Cabernet Franc 327
AppellationRed Mountain
VineyardCiel du Ceval
Acid.55 g/l
Aging22 months in 50% New French Oak and 50% Neutral Oak
Fermentation100% Open Top Fermenter
Wine StyleRed Wine
Volume750 ml

92 Points. Wine Enthusiast
By Paul Gregutt

Just under 16% alcohol, this nonetheless displays lush and pure flavors of blueberry and black cherry, dusted with cinnamon and sandalwood. The concentration is exceptional.

 — P.G.  (12/31/2014)

90 Points, Vinous
By Stephen Tanzer

Medium red-ruby. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry, violet and licorice, plus a hint of minerality. Rather clenched and unyielding following the 2012 Merlot, but sappy, intense and densely packed, showing a restrained sweetness to its medicinal black fruit and dark chocolate flavors. Spreads out horizontally to saturate the palate with dusty tannins on the rising finish. No shortage of spine here.

-Stephen Tanzer (December 2014)

Great Northwest Wine

This nearly equal part, three-clone selection of clone 3, clone 214 and clone 327 represents some of the best fruit from renowned Ciel du Cheval, and there’s significant investment of 50% new French oak. Still, Holmes allows for sweet herbs, dusty black cherry and raspberry aromas. Inside, there’s a good core of black cherry and black currant, wrapped up in sandy tannins, juicy acidity and lasting pinch of herbs. Despite the lofty alcohol by volume listed, the finish displays remarkable balance.

 -  Great Northwest Wine (8/10/2015)

2012 Production Team

A grower owned winery, Côtes de Ciel was founded in 2012 by the Holmes family of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards. At Côtes de Ciel, we believe that all wine starts its journey in the vineyard and moves through the winery. Throughout this process, many people make a significant contribution and impact on the wine. Below are a few of the key people that impacted the 2012 vintage.


Richard Holmes Winemaker
Ryan Johnson Vineyard Manger
Sadie Drury Assistant Vineyard Manager
Jim and Pat Holmes   Grapegrower
Charlies Hoppes Consultant - Winemaking
Mitch Venohr Consultant - WInemaking
Hilary Sojlund Consultant - Enology

2012 Cabernet Franc Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain
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