Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2008
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
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
The Wine Advocate - "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!)"
Wine Spectator - "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."
Chateau Ste. Michelle 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. View all Chateau Ste. Michelle Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
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 helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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