Winery of the Month
February Winery of the month: Chateau Ste. Michelle
Washington State’s oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, was built on the 1912 estate owned by Seattle lumber baron Frederick Stimson. The winery’s roots date back to the Repeal of Prohibition, when the Pommerelle Wine Company and the National Wine Company were formed. In 1967, American Wine Growers began a new line of premium wines called “Ste. Michelle Vintners” under the direction of legendary California winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. The winery combines Old World winemaking tradition with New World innovation and is, arguably, best known for its award-winning Bordeaux varietals. Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one devoted to whites and one solely to reds. Toss in wines produced from the renowned Indian Wells and Horse Heaven vineyards and you’ve got all your bases covered. Our own Napa and Sonoma Valleys may get the lion’s share of publicity, but Washington state offers the same level of quality at affordable prices.
Rose Columbia Valley
88 points Wine Spectator 2017
suggested retail $15.99 – WOTM SPecial $11.99
A dry elegant style rosé with a beautiful light pale pink color. The fresh and lively wine offers bright aromas of watermelon, raspberry, and lemon with flavors of wild strawberry, citrus zest, hints of melon. It is soft and flavorful on the palate with a long crisp finish.
suggested retail $14.99 – WOTM Special $11.99
Maddalena Chardonnay greets the nose with an array of ripe fruit aromas, including citrus, guava, and orange peel. The round mouth shows depth and body complemented by forward flavors of tropical fruit. A touch of spicy oak adds complexity. Balanced acidity creates structure and a long, complex finish.
Riesling Columbia Valley
suggested retail $9.99 – WOTM Special $6.99
This Columbia Valley Riesling is a blend of grapes from throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley. The wine offers crisp apple aromas and flavors with subtle mineral notes. This is “everyday Riesling” that is a pleasure to drink and easy to match with a variety of foods, such as fresh fruit, crab, mild cheeses, chicken and of course, Asian cuisine.
Gewurztraminer Columbia Valley
suggested retail $9.99 – WOTM Special $6.99
Gewürztraminer is a flavorful wine with bright, expressive fruit and clove spice. This is a lush style of Gewürztraminer with intense floral character, yet it still maintains the grape’s natural crisp acidity. And like its brother, Riesling, this is great to pair with shellfish, Asian dishes and spicy poultry recipes.
Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Vineyard
suggested retail $18.99 – WOTM Special $14.99
This Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, racy style with citrus characteristics. Partial stainless steel fermentation preserves its pure, fresh, vibrant character while the remainder is barrel fermented for slight spice and texture. It is sur lie aged for four months for enhanced complexity and structure. Match this beauty with mussels, halibut, chicken and goat cheese.
Chardonnay Columbia Valley
suggested retail $10.99 – WOTM Special $7.99
This is a pleasurable, food-friendly Chardonnay with bright apple and sweet citrus fruit character, subtle spice and oak nuances. Chardonnay grapes from vineyards all over Washington’s Columbia Valley are blended to make this a complex, interesting wine and the sur lie aging gives it added softness. Aged for more than seven months in a mix of French and American oak barrels with regular stirring to soften the wine and integrate the fruit and oak flavors.
Chardonnay Indian Wells Vineyard
suggested retail $24.99 – WOTM Special $19.99
This Indian Wells Chardonnay delivers an appealing tropical fruit character typical of warm sites like the Wahluke Slope. Ripe pineapple and butterscotch flavors and rich, creamy texture makes this a tasty match with scallops, scampi or pasta with rich sauce.
Merlot Columbia Valley
suggested retail $14.99 – WOTM Special $10.99
The wine offers aromas of black cherry, leather and spice with layers of rich dark red fruit flavors and a long, smooth, sweet finish. A touch of Syrah adds a jammy fruit character. For food pairing, think along the lines of beef, lamb, grilled salmon and hearty pastas.
Merlot Indian Wells Vineyard
suggested retail $19.99 – WOTM Special $15.99
Grapes are sourced from a collection of warm-climate vineyards that range from the Wahluke Slope to Cold Creek Vineyard, and include the namesake Indian Wells Vineyard. Dense and deeply layered, it’s loaded with mixed blue and black fruits, fresh herb and toast. The use of oak is restrained, balancing out this round, full-bodied merlot with ripe tannins. A small addition of Syrah enhances the mouth feel and rich fruit character. Aged in American and French oak for 16 months. Frequent racking took place during barrel aging to soften tannins and enhance mouth feel.
Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley
suggested retail $14.99 – WOTM Special $9.99
The delicious everyday Cabernet is sourced from Columbia Valley vineyards in eastern Washington including the Cold Creek, Canoe Ridge and Indian Wells vineyards. Gentle pump overs during fermentation were used to extract color and flavor and produce soft, supple tannins. Aged 14 months in American and French oak. Reveals an attractive bouquet of cedar, tobacco, spice, black currant and blackberry flavors. This leads to a medium-bodied Cabernet with ample ripe black fruit flavors, depth, and moderate length. Excellent pairing with grilled meats, veggies, meatloaf and burgers.
Cabernet Sauvignon Cold Creek Vineyard
suggested retail $33.99 – WOTM Special $28.99
Cabernet from this iconic 40-year-old vineyard consistently delivers power and structure. Aromas of dark purple fruit hint at blackberry and boysenberry syrup, backed by black licorice and hints of earth. An intense entry of dark plums, dried cherry and sweet blackberry segues to sweet tannins in the mid-palate and a remarkable finish. Suggested pairings include veal, tomato-based pastas and a beef roast rubbed with rosemary and cracked pepper.