Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, July 14, 1999
2 puffs, “An exceptional wine”
Chateau Ste. Michelle 1997 Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley
Ran in the LA Times
Ran in the LA Times
Well-ripened citrus and melon-like fruit sits at the heart of this lively youngster, and, while fit with a proper bit of grassiness, oak and scant suggestions of mineral, the wine is once and ever in the "fruit first" camp. Neatly balanced with just the right degree of crisping acids brightening its lengthy finish, it will make a splendid partner to any number of richer shellfish dishes.^Also Reviewed 8/1/99 Best Buys in the Market
Dark ruby hue with a violet cast. Muted aromas show an anise and dark-chocolate note. A firm entry leads a moderately full-bodied palate with inky flavors. Nice finish. Should age well.
Light and sweet, with pretty lime and meringue flavors and tart acidity on the finish.^Also reviewed 9/30/99 in Washington Special Report
Camphor, mint, graham, and blackberry in the nose. Warm, spicy, chocolaty flavors balance youthful tannins. Long finish of berry fruit and toasty oak.
Dark ruby color. Aromas of berry and plum fruit with notes of cedar in the background. Tannic on the palate with rich, jammy fruit flavors and a long, spicy finish.
Bright purple red to the rim. Subdued earth and black-fruit aromas show a subtle wood accent. A soft attack leads to a moderately full-bodied palate with velvety tannins. Lush, earthy finish.
Ripe and round, with firm tannins underpinning the smoky, gamy blackberry and currant flavors. Needs cellaring to smooth the edges; best from 2001 through 2006. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.^Also reviewed 9/30/99 in Washington Special Report
Small, dark berry fruit, nice cigar-box, and stalky notes; opulent, concentrated, lovely length; natural tannins supporting - promising.
Shy aromas of red berry and tobacco. Woody entry evolves as supple fruit gains ground. Elegant flavors of strawberry and cherry, subtle chocolate and tobacco spice. Pepper notes mark the close.
Medium-dark ruby; pleasant, herbal, toasty, slightly pruney aroma with overtones of creamy oak; medium-full body; soft, herbal, cherry fruit flavors; medium-full to full tannin; tart finish; slightly lingering aftertaste. Above average quality.
Liquorice and melon aromas; zesty, lemony notes on the palate going to ripe grapefruit; smooth, with acid cutting through nicely.
Smooth, velvety tannins, round, integrated, but with the structure and fruit to last; oak, berries, plums.
Citrusy aroma of grapefruit and lime. Juicy on the palate, with light-bodied flavors of sweet grapefruit, peach, and light herb. Serve with shellfish.
Very pale straw. Melon fruit, talc, and winter savory aroma. Light-bodied flavors of melon and pear fruit with light peach and citrus in the finish. Balanced, fruity style complements ham or turkey.
Dark garnet color. Deep, closed aroma hinting at blackberry/plum fruit and toasty oak. Rich and concentrated flavors of blackberry/plum on the palate. Tight and tannic; cellar 3-5 years for softer tannins.
Initially closed-in aroma opens to ripe berry fruit and light cedar notes. Mouth-filling, juicy flavors of berry fruit and chocolate. Bright acidity balances soft tannins; cellar 2-3 years for integration.
Sweet, slightly peachy fruit outpaces vanillin oak and a note of herbs in the ripe, open aromas, and the themes of peaches and melons are picked up again in the tasty but uncomplicated flavors.
Bright yellow golden cast. Moderately full-bodied. Full acidity. Moderately extracted. Mildly oaked. Minerals, brown spices. Aromatically reserved with a firm and concentrated palate. Opens up toward the finish with a hint of oak. Should develop further with some short-to mid-term cellaring.
Off-dry. Nectarine fruit aroma with a hint of toast. Juicy, ripe peach flavors. Long, persistent finish with impressions of apricot. Match with spicy crab cakes.
Sporting a pleasant marriage of melons, lemons, sweet oak and subtle grassiness in both its aromas and forthright flavors, this carefully balanced, medium-bodied effort (is) easy to like.
Bright yellow straw cast. Moderately full-bodied. Balanced acidity. Moderately extracted. Mildly oaked. Brown spices, minerals, citrus. Generous aromatics feature a hint of oak. Firm and flavorful in the mouth, with a core of steely fruit flavors that persist through a lengthy, vibrant finish.
Bright yellow straw cast. Moderately full-bodied. Full acidity. Moderately extracted. Minerals, yeast, toast. Aromatically reserved with lean and minerally flavors in the mouth. Texturally interesting, with a sense of lushness and a zesty angular finish.