Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2008
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Wine Style Guide
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
Alcohol By Volume: 14.5%
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
The Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot is a complex Merlot with black cherry fruit character with refined tannins. Planted in 1991, this vineyard is getting more mature and so are the winemakers! With increased vine age, this wine is showing more depth, richness and layers of dark fruit than in previous vintages. It's a great food wine and its dusty tannins make it a perfect match with Italian food.
Blend: 77% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah
"For thoughts on Chateau Ste Michelle's uniqueness and recent evolution, consult my extensive April, 2013 text designed to introduce recent tasting notes. Black tea, sassafras, cola, and bittersweet floral perfume garland the rich, still freshly juicy cherry of Ste. Michelle’s 2008 Merlot Canoe Ridge Estate, reconvening on a palate that reveals fine-grained tannins, vivacious freshness, yet at the same time dark, savory depth suggesting peat, tobacco, and crushed stone. At 14.5% alcohol, it avoids the slight heat found in its 2009 and 2010 counterparts, and as with most of the Ste Michelle reds, the barrel component (here just over half new) remains appropriately discreet. This finishes with a wonderful combination of mouthwateringly saline savor, nuance, vibrancy, focus, and sheer persistence. A sensational value that has no doubt already picked up complexity in bottle, it ought to reward following for at least another half dozen years. Incidentally, this incorporated as blending components only (but substantially) 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. (When Ste Michelle goes unorthodox, they do so with good reason!)"
The Wine Advocate
"Supple, ripe and generous, with a black pepper note weaving harmoniously through the focused black cherry and toast flavors that push through fine tannins on the refined finish. Drink now through 2016."
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Learn About Chateau Ste. Michelle Map It
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,...
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Learn About Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which...
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Learn About Merlot
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...
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