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Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2008

Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

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

Critical Acclaim

RP 92
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!)

WS 91
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.

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Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chateau Ste. Michelle

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Chateau Ste. Michelle, , Washington
Chateau Ste. Michelle
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.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline...

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character...

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

In the Glass

From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

PIN255388_2008 Item# 110609

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