This stunning vineyard sits on a south-facing wind-swept slope high above the Columbia River. The vines are planted in soils of flood deposits that are more than 10,000 years old. Heat throughout the growing season is moderated by the strong wine patterns while cool nights provide optimum conditions for flavor development.
Colour: Deep red with purple hues
Aroma: Aromas of vanilla, herb, cherry and baking spice.
Palate: A full-bodied palate. The tightly wound tannins need some time to unspool. The oak plays prominently, but it’s quite tasty with coffee lingering on the finish. Give it a short decant if drinking in the near term. (WE)
Grape Varieties: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon with 9% Merlot
Aging: Aged for 18 months in all French oak, 70% first use
Awards: 91pts – James Suckling; 92pts – Wine & Spirits; 91pts – Wine Spectator; 90pts – Wine Enthusiast
History of Chateau Ste. Michelle
Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, wineries in Washington. The company produces a wide range of wines from grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, but it is best known for its high-quality wines made from Riesling.
It was founded as the American Wine Growers in 1954 by the merger of two companies that were set up following the repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s: the National Wine Company and the Pomerelle Wine Company. Before the merger, the National Wine Company had planted Vitis vinifera grapes in the Columbia Valley. However it was legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, as a consultant, who introduced higher quality vinifera wines in 1967. These were produced under the name Ste. Michelle Vintners and the first wines released were Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Semillon and Grenache.
In 1976, the name was changed to Chateau Ste. Michelle. The winery has since achieved international acclaim. Chateau Ste. Michelle has three estate vineyards all in the Columbia Valley AVA – Cold Creek, Horse Heaven and Canoe Ridge. In 1995, the company formed a partnership with Antinori to make luxury Cabernet Sauvignon under the label Col Solare. Most recently, in 2016 the company purchased Sonoma-based Pinot Noir and Chardonnay house Patz & Hall.