The main objective of this tasting is to explore wines from Washington State and assess differences among three main red varietals.
Type of Tasting: Blind
Wines presenters: Jorge Claro, Cristian Santelices
These are the wines:
- 2017 Chateau Ste Michelle. Riesling Dry, Columbia Valley
- 2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot, Horse Heaven Hill
- 2015 Canvasback, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
- 2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Rhone’s Michel Gassier, The Pundit Syrah. Columbia Valley
This is the menu:
- Salmon appetizer
- Leeks and potatoes soup
- Crab ravioli in white sauce
- Filet Mignon with vegetables sauteed
Participants: Mario Aguilar, Marcello Averbug, Ruth Connolly, Clara Estrada, Jaime Estupiñán, Alberto Gómez, Jaime Jaramillo, Orlando Mason, Italo Mirkow, Agilson Perazza, Claudia Perazza, John Redwood, Lucía Redwood, Jorge Requena, Alfonso Sanchez, Cristian Santelices, Ricardo Santiago, German Zincke
Information on the Wines
(The information below has been compiled from various internet sources) .
2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Riesling Dry, Columbia Valley
The Wine: WE: Flower, lime leaf, slate, peach and citrus aromas are out front. Sleek, off-dry, leaning sweeter fruit flavors follow. There’s a sense of balance that heightens the appeal. It’s a whole lot of wine for the money.
“A terrific wine for its price, this Riesling’s best feature is its freshness; it’s a high-toned, leesy white leading with scents of apple blossoms and a hint of lime. The flavors are crisp and round, supple and generous, with the body to pair with seafood…”
A dry, refreshing style of Riesling with beautiful fruit flavors, crisp acidity and an elegant finish. It offers inviting sweet citrus aromas and flavors. This is an incredibly versatile food wine.
The Winery: Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington with some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The winery combines Old World winemaking with New World innovation and is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including “American Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and “2005 Winery of the Year” by Restaurant Wine. In addition, the winery’s Eroica Riesling, crafted from a partnership with German winemaker Ernst Loosen, has been named to Wine Spectator‘s prestigious “Top 100” wines list for five consecutive years.
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 another to reds. This dedicated approach to winemaking allows winemaker Bob Bertheau to build winemaking programs to the unique specifications of red and white wines. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the climate is dry and sunny, Bob Bertheau makes the award winning white wines in Woodinville, 15 miles northeast of Seattle. The winery’s expansive, 87-acre estate hosts more than 250,000 visitors annually for tours, tastings, dinners and outdoor summer concerts.
Read more at: https://www.ste-michelle.com/
2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot, Horse Heaven Hill
The Wine: Winemaker Notes: The Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot is an elegant expression of Washington Merlot. It offers dark cherry fruit character and dusty tannins. This is a perfect match with Italian food and dishes with lamb, beef and fow
(RP) An impressive wine is the 2013 Merlot Canoe Ridge Estate. There’s 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend and it spent 16 months in 59% new French and American oak. Possessing first-rate aromatics of plums, currants, licorice and damp earth, this medium to full-bodied, supple, charming Merlot has outstanding purity and surprising mid-palate density. It’s a sexy wine to drink over the coming 4-5 years.
The Winery: (See above)
2015 Canvasback, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
The Wine: Winemaker Notes: Showing the warmth and generosity of the growing season, this wine offers effusive aromas of bing cherry, ripe strawberry and plum. As it evolves, additional aromas of molasses and ginger reveal themselves, along with a savory whiff of sagebrush that echoes Red Mountain’s desert environment. On the palate, the wine has notable presence and depth. The entry is creamy and fine-grained, and a voluminous mid-palate displays gorgeous flavors of black plum, marion berry and grenadine, with notes of nutmeg and hazelnut adding complexity to the juicy fruit. Varietal Content: 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc Cooperage: 20 months in barrel 98% French oak, 2% American 42% new, 22% second, 36% neutral.
“While 2015 will go in the books as the earliest Washington grape harvest on record, it will also be remembered for its remarkable quality. A warm spring led to a very early budbreak, followed by ideal weather during bloom. With consistently hot summer weather, we tailored our canopy management to preserve shade on the fruit, while carefully timing our irrigation to protect the vines. A cooldown in the run-up to harvest slowed ripening, and allowed us to pick pristine grapes at a leisurely pace. With lovely balance and freshness, these grapes ultimately yielded wines of power and grace”
RP: The 2015 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a success this year, revealing aromas of ripe plums, cassis, pencil shavings and espresso roast. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, rich and generous, with an ample core of fruit, juicy acids and a flavorful finish.
The Winery: (From Wine.com) To create wines that are as complex as they are captivating, Canvasback is following the model established decades ago by Duckhorn Vineyards, and will ultimately combine grapes from top growers with fruit from Canvasback’s own estate vineyard. The Canvasback team has already established great relationships with the growers who farm some of the appellation’s most esteemed vineyards, including Klipsun, La Coye, Shaw and Quintessence. In 2013, Canvasback put down roots on Red Mountain when it acquired a 20-acre unplanted vineyard site. Located near the top of the mountain, above the frost zone at an elevation of approximately 1,100 to 1,300 feet, the site was widely recognized as the most coveted uncultivated site of the mountain. Guided by Washington winegrowing legend and Canvasback vineyard manager Dick Boushey, and founding winemaker Brian Rudin, Canvasback began planting its Red Mountain vineyard predominantly to Cabernet Sauvignon in 2014.In both the vineyard and winery, Brian embraces the challenge of making a richly compelling wine that shows the complexity and structure of great Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. “Red Mountain is one of the best places on earth to grow Cabernet,” says Brian. “The desert environment, with its long days, cold nights and mineral-rich soils produce epic Cabernet Sauvignons.”
Read more at: https://www.canvasbackwine.com/
2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Rhone’s Michel Gassier, The Pundit Syrah. Columbia Valley
The Wine: The color is deep ruby with garnet highlights. Raspberry jam and citrus with soy and earthy undertone aromas are complemented by a brambly, subtle meaty character. A smooth mouthfeel glides into a long silky finish with flavors of juicy blueberry, hints of tobacco and subtle gamey undertones.
WE: Pinches of Grenache (4%), Mourvèdre (4%) and Viognier (2%) round out this wine, providing lovely accents. The aromas show notes of flower, orange peel, raspberry candy, dried herb and cherry. The palate is full bodied and rich, with the tannins bringing some grip. Raspberry notes linger on the finish.Blend: 90% Syrah, 4% Grenache, 4% Mourvedre, and 2% Viognier.
By the looks of it, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates can help do for Syrah what it has done with Riesling. Here’s another example of Chateau Ste. Michelle head winemaker Bob Bertheau collaborating with European experts to create a gateway example of a variety that the majority of American consumers aren’t overly familiar with, offer it at an affordable price and produce it on a large scale. In the case of The Pundit, Bertheau teams up with Rhône native Michel Gassier and Phillipe Cambie, who describes himself as “a man of the Mediterranean”. The influence of new French oak (23%) over 13 months shows with the bittersweet chocolate and toast aromas that include blueberry cobbler and black cherry. There’s a payday on the palate from each of those notes as the dark fruit spills across with pleasing weight. A nice tug of tannin of comes across as a nibble of blackcurrant skin with the juice to match, followed by the underlying gaminess that often comes with Syrah
The Winery: (See above)
CV Members Rating
View full evaluation here: 210 Summary of Tasting Scores
Best Rated Wine: 2015 Canvasback, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
Best Buy: 2017 Chateau Ste Michelle. Riesling Dry, Columbia Valley
(Jorge Claro and Cristian Santelices compiled these technical notes. They provide additional detailed information about wine in Washington State, such as history, varieties, climate maps, soils, etc.)
View notes here: Technical notes Washington State