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KensWineGuide.com - April 28, 2013
This slightly opaque and dark ruby colored Cabernet opens with a black currant and black cherry bouquet with some oak notes in the background. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, balanced, juicy and fruit forward. The flavor profile is a black cherry with notes of oak, coffee, and a hint of dark chocolate. The finish is dry and its tannins are mild, while its flavors linger nicely. This is a friendly Cab that would pair well with lasagna or beef and veal ragu over bowties. Enjoy - Ken
Great Northwest Wine - April 20, 2013
This is the rare Chateau Ste. Michelle wine that is topped with a screwcap. It’s all part of white winemaker – and Oz native – Wendy Stuckey’s effort to create a dry Australian wine from Washington grapes. Most of the grapes came from the cooler Zillah area of the Yakima Valley. The resulting wine comes off bone dry, with residual sugar of an imperceptible 0.65% and a pH of 3.04. It opens with aromas of baked apple, jasmine and slate, followed by flavors of Granny Smith apple, Asian pear, flint and lemon. Salivating acidity makes this the perfect foil with clams, mussels, scallops, halibut or baked chicken.
“Best Buy” Great Northwest Wine - April 16, 2013
Washington’s flagship winery has been making Gewürztraminer for a good part of its time, as the Germany variety was among the first planted in the state. White winemaker Wendy Stuckey has it dialed in as well as her Riesling, by all appearances. This opens with huge aromas of classic clove, grapefruit, pear and lychee, followed by luscious flavors of maraschino cherry, cardamom, guava and lychee. This has a suprising amount of acidity (3.09 pH!), considering the variety naturally tends to lack it. This is on the sweeter side at 1.95, and that makes it a perfect wine for drinking all summer long. Rating: Outstanding!
“2013 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year” The Woodinville Weekly - April 5, 2013
Over the years, Chateau Ste. Michelle has earned some of the highest accolades in the wine industry, including World’s Most Admired Wine Brand, Washington’s Most Respected Brand, Wine Brand of the Year, U.S. Wine Producer of the Year and more. Now it can add another one: Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year for 2013. The award, which is given by Wine Press Northwest, is highly prestigious. For the past 12 years, the magazine has bestowed this award, as well as others, including Winery of the Year for each state in the region. “This is an exciting honor and a testament to the decades of investment we have made in quality winemakers, vineyards, cellar equipment and winery staff,” says Ted Baseler, Chateau Ste. Michelle president and C.E.O. “It’s rewarding to be recognized for the quality of our wine and contributions we have made to the Washington wine industry.” The Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year is selected via a process that considers a number of factors such as the winery’s longevity, quality, reputation, industry involvement, facilities and other considerations. A winery may only win the award once. Chateau Ste. Michelle’s roots date back to 1934 when two wineries, Pommerelle and National Wine Company were launched in Seattle. Though rivals, the wineries eventually merged 20 years later to become American Wine Growers. In 1965, the name changed to Ste. Michelle Vintners and then in 1972, it emerged as Ste. Michelle Vineyards. Two years later, U.S. Tobacco bought the company and built an impressive winery in Woodinville, renaming it Chateau Ste. Michelle. By this time, the winery was the largest wine operation in Washington. Further expansion led to the creation of Columbia Crest and the purchase of Snoqualmie Vineyards. To accommodate its portfolio of acquisitions, the company renamed itself Stimson Lane Vineyards & Estates, inspired by the late Frederick Stimson, a Seattle lumber baron who had a dairy operation where Ste. Michelle is located today. Baseler took the reins of the company in 2000 and four years later he renamed it Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. He also promoted Bob Bertheau to head winemaker and gave him responsibility of the winery’s red wine program. Bertheau eventually brought in noted Australian Riesling producer Wendy Stuckey as his white winemaker. The winery’s commitment to quality has driven its continued success in the industry and given it a reputation for renowned, top-rated wines. Though Ste. Michelle makes more than 1 million cases of Riesling, its winemakers are quick to point out that they produce other wines. This became apparent during Wine Press Northwest’s Platinum Judging last fall, when Ste. Michelle won six Platinums: four for Riesling and two for Cabernet Sauvignon... While Baseler credits the MOG Monster with improvement, he sees Bertheau as the catalyst behind the winery’s success. “We brought Bob in at a time when our wines were good,” he said. “But we needed to ramp things up. Bob and his team have really pulled that off.”
90 points The Wine Advocate - April 5, 2013
Ste Michelle’s 2009 Meritage Artist Series is richer than its 2010 counterpart and more seamlessly ripe and sweet as well. But it also harbors some slightly drying tannin and lacks the sense of levity or primary juiciness than possessed by the 2010 – for all of my reservations about it – not to mention the 2009 Canoe Ridge Merlot. Licorice, chocolate, and tar mingle with cherry and cassis in a satisfyingly persistent finish. Look for at least 3-4 years of high performance here, though my intuition is not to expect noticeable improvement with bottle age.