2012 Nebbiolo Ciel du Cheval Vineyard


Nebbiolo is native to the Piedmont area of Italy. Little is grown in the United States. It has a poor reputation among wine growers. It is  said to be difficult to grow and to have unpredictable crop levels.  Everyone told us we were crazy to plant it.  But the wines it produces in Italy are fantastic and we wanted to try, we wanted to see how it would perform at Ciel. It is without a doubt one of the ugliest grape plants you will see. It has long gangly shoots with tiny leaves that are a yellowish green, not the typical dark green of most varieties.  But regardless of the vine’s shape, form and color, since our first harvest, it has been producing unique and promising wines. So promising that each year we continue work with the vine, adjusting the growing approach. And each year, year after year the wines have improved and become spectacular.

Yes, Nebbiolo is difficult to grow, but the result, the wines are worth the effort!


Rich. A beautiful deep red wine with an intense nose of cherry, tobacco and hints of violet and rose.  The rich pallet consists of cherries, blueberries and currants. The high acidity for which Nebbiolo is known is present, but the wine has supple and elegant tannins which make this wine easy to drink. This wine will age well for at least ten years.  100 Cases Produced. 94 pts Wine Enthusiast. Learn more ...

Download Wine Notes
Varietal100% Nebbiolo
AppellationRed Mountain
VineyardCiel du Ceval
Acid6.1 g/l
Aging22 months in Neutral Oak
Fermentation100% Open Top Fermenter
Wine StyleRed Wine
Volume750 ml

94 points, Cellar Selection. Wine Enthusiast
by Paul Gregutt  (12/31/2014)

Nebbiolo does not adapt easily to anywhere outside of its home turf in Italy. Somehow, the obstacles have been transcended here, and the results are—well—transcendent. A riveting, astonishing wine with depth, tar, tannin and texture, all under powerfully ripe, almost jammy cherry fruit. Despite the high alcohol, it retains the details that give Nebbiolo the ability to improve with age. Drink now through 2025.

Great Northwest Wine (8/16/2015)

Red Mountain pioneering grower Jim Holmes took a chance on this noble red grape that hails from the Italian Alps, and his winemaking son Richard turned fruit from these 12-year-old vines into an impressive and promising example. While the juice spent 22 months in oak, none of it was new, helping to develop aromas of Bing cherry, raspberry jam, cocoa powder, vanilla and white chocolate. Be prepared for the mouthfilling punch of gorgeous dark cherry, pomegranate and Marionberry flavors, joined by the variety’s classic taut tannins. And yet, those luscious fruity tones  keep pushing through from the midpalate past the finish line

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

Click on the links below to get information about our
other vintages.
2013 2012
2012 Nebbiolo  Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
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