Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Erioca Single Berry Select Riesling 2005 earned a remarkable 98-point score by Wine Spectator Insider on June 24, making it the highest rated Washington wine and highest rated American Riesling. This matches Wine Spectator's score for the 2000 Single Berry Select.
The review reads "98 points - Rich, silky and polished, offering a plush, exotic mouthful of honey, pear, quince, orange marmalade and pineapple, with whiffs of mayflower, persisting impossibly long on the finish. This is deftly balanced with acidity to keep it from being too syrupy. Drink now through 2020. From Washington."
Single Berry Select is made in partnership between Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker Bob Bertheau of Washington state and Ernst Loosen of Germany's Dr. Loosen estate. An intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and techniques enables the crafting extraordinary Rieslings from Washington state grapes. Single Berry Select is made in the traditional German Trockenbeerenauslese style and is one of the few TBAs in North America. Literally, the word means a wine made from a selection (Auslese) of individually picked grapes (Beeren) which have been left on the vine until so ripe as to be practically dry (trocken) or raisened. Select grapes at our Horse Heaven Vineyard were left hanging on the vine two months after regular harvest, allowing Botrytis to set in. Botrytis is a naturally occurring condition in the grapes required for making this exceptional wine. Berries are painstakingly individually picked and hand sorted. They are carefully pressed and the rich juice is fermented for more than eight months to develop full character. The result is an ultra rich, concentrated yet elegant wine with intense aromas of orange blossom, honey, apricot and sweet spice. Decadent flavors of ripe pineapple and honey lead to a long, luscious finish. This wine is made in very limited quantities, typically less than 75 cases a year. It is available for one year after release, then returned to our Private Cellar for re-release ten years post-vintage. The wine retails for $200 for a half bottle (375 ml).