As we continue our journey through Washington Wine Month we bring you one of the historic Washington wineries. Many of you might not know that we have the world’s largest producer of Riesling right in our backyard. Chateau Ste. Michelle produces millions of bottles of wine — a staggering 8 million bottles of Riesling a year — and the most remarkable part is the Riesling is very good. The oldest winery in Washington state, Chateau Ste. Michelle was originally founded as the American Wine Company, set on 87 acres that was once a rural farm. Many great Washington winemaking talents have come through Chateau Ste. Michellle, from Dan Wampfler to Jason Gorski. Chateau Ste. Michelle owns some of the state’s historic vineyards including the Cold Creek Vineyard which was founded in the 1970s.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is led by superstar winemaker, Bob Bertheau, who crafts some beautiful red and white wines with his team Originally from Seattle, Bob has a MS in enology from the famed program at UC Davis. Bob’s illustrious career also includes five years as assistant winemaker under eminent winemaker David Ramey while at historic Sonoma estate, Chalk Hill. His new wines are seriously good, showing wonderful range and impressive quality to price ratio. One of the great Riesling bottlings in the state, particularly at this price point, the 2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Eroica’ Riesling (WWB, 93) is one of the great Riesling wines from Washington that I have tasted over the past year. Do not miss out on this stunning new wine that is up there with the best they have made in the past fifteen plus years. Learn more about these fantastic new wines at https://www.ste-michelle.com Here are the recent releases by Chateau Ste. Michelle.
2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Horse Heaven Hills Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc- Direct upon entry, the 2017 ‘Horse Heaven Hills Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc shows wonderful grassy tones with bright lemon zest and melon accents on this expressive nose. The palate unveils wonderful racy acidity with just the faintest kiss of sweetness. The long finish lingers. Enjoy this in its youth while the brightness remains. Drink 2019-2023- 90
2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Eroica’ Riesling- Chateau Ste. Michelle has been making this special bottling for nearly twenty years now and I have sampled every vintage of the wine since 2003. This version is every bit as good as any that has been made in this partnership with Ernst Loosen and Chateau Ste. Michelle head winemaker Bob Bertheau. On the nose there is lovely Gravenstein apple and lemon blossom aromas that mingle with shades of wet stone on the complex bouquet. Once on the attack the palate displays gobs of mouth-watering acidity. Bright lemon zest with shades of wet stone and kumquat with green apple accents round out this beautiful wine. While a delight to savor in its youth, this beautiful wine will cellar well over the next five to seven years. Drink 2019-2025- 93
2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Cold Creek Vineyard’ Chardonnay- One of the warmer sites for Chardonnay, this wine typically shows good opulence particularly in warm vintages and this current ‘Cold Creek Vineyard’ Chardonnay is an absolutely fantastic expression of Washington Chardonnay. Vanilla creme brûlée with shades of clove and nutmeg infused sourdough bread all shine together on the palate. Showing good freshness despite the heat of the vintage, this outstanding, well-weighted effort will be best enjoyed over the next seven years. Drink 2019-2025- 91
2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Mimi’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Forward and juicy, the ‘Mimi’ Cabernet Sauvignon delivers a soft and downright plush mouthfeel with loads of black fruits that mingle with tar and dark chocolate on the palate. While quite forward, this has the stuffing and acidity to pack a punch. Drink 2019-2024- 90
2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Red Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon- This is the second year that Chateau Ste. Michelle have made this limited production bottling. Inky once in the glass, the ‘Red Mountain’ Cabernet Sauvignon opens with toasty oak that wraps around tar and kirsch aromatics with hints of coffee grounds. Soft, with a nice, plush mouthfeel, this unveils black tea and blackberry cobbler flavors with a hint of vanilla. Drink 2019-2024- 90
2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Canoe Ridge Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 ‘Canoe Ridge Estate’ by Chateau Ste. Michelle is another fantastic effort from this storied estate. Toasty oak wraps around dark and red fruits with hints of leather and chocolate on the nose. The palate is plush showing off a soft mouthfeel. Blackberry cobbler, milk chocolate and sagebrush tones fill the palate. This is seriously good for the price. Drink 2019-2025- 91
2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Artist Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Artist Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best ‘Artist Series’ wines I have sampled in the past twenty vintages of tasting this wine. On the nose this hedonistic Cabernet Sauvignon takes on Turkish coffee, alongside black cherry cordial and shades of sandalwood aromas that all are delightfully woven together in the glass. The palate evokes a plush and decadent edge, unveiling a silky mouthfeel and beautifully soft texture. Dense flavors of Black Forest Cake, tar, black tea and shades of exotic spices all dance on the mouth. While enticing and seductive in its youth, this outstanding ‘Artist Series’ will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2033- 93