White peach and fresh apricot aromas characteristic of Washington State Rieslings, melded with the mineral, floral notes and lively acidity associated with German Rieslings.
Eroica, named for Beethoven's third symphony, is truly a concert of old world and new world riesling.
"Since the late 1990s, this bottling has ranked with the very best American Rieslings made, and so it does once again. Deep in peachy fruit, lightly floral in tone and underlain by wispy suggestions of minerals, this mannerly wine is at once both rich and restrained. It slight sweetness is that of juicy fruit rather than anything confected or sugary, and its rounded yet balanced style commends it equally to service with cracked crab or as a stand-alone refresher."
Launched in 1999, Eroica is a labor of love for two of the world's great Riesling producers. One from the Old World, Dr. Loosen estate of Germany, and the other from the New World, Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state. An intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and technique enables the crafting of an extraordinary Riesling from Washington state grapes. Named for Beethoven's Third Symphony, Eroica reflects not only its variety and site, but also its heritage: bold and forward from its Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration.
The first five vintages of Eroica Riesling (1999-2003) were named to Wine Spectator's "Top 100" list.
"I have long believed that a Riesling revival would have to start with a prominent New World winery like Chateau Ste. Michelle."
- Ernst Loosen, Dr. Loosen estate
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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 helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Merlot 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.
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.
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%.
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.