Tenet GSM Blend 2013
The assembly of this blend was a true collaboration of winemakers Bob Bertheau, Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie, combining their decades of experience to produce a wine that is a testament to the tremendous potential of Rhone varietals in Washington State.
Blend: 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 25% Mourvedre
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
At Tenet wines, we are convinced that Washington state is an exceptional terroir for Syrah and its Rhone Valley brethren. A project between the iconic Washington state winery Chateau Ste. Michelle and the acclaimed Rhone winemaker Michel Gassier, it establishes a parallel between Syrah's cradle and most renowned region, the Rhone Valley, and its tremendous potential on Washington's basaltic slopes.
Chateau Ste. Michelle's Head Winemaker Bob Bertheau and Michel Gassier have combined their experience with the assistance of Southern Rhone's famous enology consultant, Philippe Cambie, and crafted wines from both regions, aiming to show their respective character and their common excellence.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.