Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
My goal with the Columbia Valley Chardonnay is to make it a pleasurable, food-friendly Chardonnay. This is a fresh, soft style of Chardonnay with bright sweet citrus fruit character and subtle spice and oak nuances. We blend Chardonnay grapes from vineyards all over Washington's Columbia Valley to make this a complex, interesting wine. The sur lie aging gives it an appealing softness.
Pair with crab, poultry, salmon and scallops.
Wine Spectator - "Bright and jazzy, with pretty pineapple, grapefruit, elderflower and spice flavors that linger on the finish without excess weight. This just floats on for a while. Drink now through 2012."
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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.5 }div>3.3 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 2
- 4 Stars: 6
- 3 Stars: 2
- 2 Stars: 2
- 1 Stars: 0
12 ratings, 9 with reviews47/16/2010Light oak, first sip had some butter to it, some baking spices; finish has notes of citrus. A light and enjoyable summer Chard and a great value!45/6/2010Smooth, Med body, pineapple & pear fruit. Lightly oaked.jeff b - Southampton, PA34/26/2010First bottle...great...fruit and oak well integrated...refreshing. Second bottle...an oak monster! not sure how this happens...but it did. She must be a two face! Never know which one you will get!!??LMDH85 - Fairfield, CT33/23/2012Joe Harbison - Columbus, OH412/5/201049/20/2010Crisp, light and bargain quality Chardonnay for under $10. Wonderful starter to a any mealCam Fortin - San Francisco, CA43/23/201121/21/2011I was unimpressed.Frank Mascia III - Old Bridge, NJ210/25/2010fairly ordinary wine...not worth itSeonho Park - Los Angeles, CA59/26/2010Little bit sweet but with this price perfect!!!Feng - Washington, DC46/9/2010It doesn't have impressive complexity, but it's rather light and pleasant. Is good for a casual summer drink. Ordering another one to give it more of a tasting. Four star for its price--one of the cheapest Chardonnays I can find. About 88 points.erclimb - Annandale, VA58/29/2010This a terrific wine, especially with the price. We paired it with grilled swordfish and a tomatoe and avocado salad--excellent. I'm saving the second bottle for an equally good meal.
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
- 5 Stars: