Wine Acclaim

Awards & Honors

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2404 results

Northwest Palate, December 1, 1998

3 grape clusters, “Exceptional”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley

Ruby hues with soft highlights. Engaging fruit aromas with underlying spice. Very appealing flavors of plum, loganberry, and slight hints of chocolate. A superior example of Washington Merlot at the top of its form. Lamb stew and this wine on a winter's eve would be ideal.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, December 1, 1998

1 puffs

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley

While Merlot is often seen as a fat and open wine for near-term consumption, this solid, somewhat closed-in effort reminds of the grape's potential for age. Lightly loamy with glints of dusty spice, cocoa and vanilla joining its underplayed fruit, the wine is tight and trim in structure with a proper bit of tannin for grip, and five to seven years of cellaring should allow it to bloom fully.

Wine Spectator, November 15, 1998

89 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Firm in structure, but open-textured enough to let its currant, plum and gentle herb flavors cascade beautifully through the tasty finish. Has plenty of character. Needs a bit of cellaring to soften the edges.

Wine Spectator, November 15, 1998

91 points, “Spectator Selection”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Indian Wells Indian Wells Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Smooth and silky, this outstanding Washington white is a lovely mouthfulof peach, spice, pear, honey and vanilla, wrapped up harmoniously and elegantly. It's tempting now, will be best from 1999 through 2002.

Wine Spectator, November 15, 1998

87 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Firm in texture, with pretty blackberry and smoke flavors winding through its modest dimensions. Harmonious and polished, it's already appealing. Best after 1999.

Wine Spectator, November 15, 1998

90 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Reserve Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Smooth and supple. A generous mouthful of honey-tinged apple and green fig flavors echoing with a tinge of lime on the finish. Goes for elegance over power.

Wine Spectator, November 15, 1998

89 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley

Mouthfilling flavors on a supple, elegant frame make this immediately appealing. The cherry and tobacco character picks up a pretty peach note on the fine-grained finish. Best after 1998.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 1, 1998

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley

Cut from something of the same winemaking cloth as the winery's lesser-priced cabernet, this vineyard-designate starts out nicely with mildly fruity aromas that are filled out by neatly placed oak. Once again, however, things tend to narrow in the mouth, and the wine loses much of its early richness along the way. Slightly hot, slightly dry and slightly underfruited at the finish, this one might yet come around with age, but greatness seems well beyond its reach.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 1, 1998

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Indian Wells Indian Wells Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Low-keyed, pear-like fruit provides quiet support to fairly prominent, almost stavy oak aromas. Oak again takes the lead role in the flavors and continues to override the more tenuous fruit. While rounded at entry, the wine is a touch coarse and slightly understuffed en route to a slightly brittle finish.

California Grapevine, November 1, 1998

88 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Attractive, earthy, floral, tropical fruit aroma with overtones of spicy oak; rich, forward, toasty, ripe fruit flavors with a hint of butterscotch; well structured and balanced.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 1, 1998

1 puffs

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Artist Series Meritage Columbia Valley

Pretty oak sweetens attractive fruit in the clean, medium-density aromas here, and it similarly serves as a welcome enrichment to the wine's direct, nominally fruited flavors. Medium- to medium-full-bodied and very slightly supple in balance, this one steers to refinement rather than brute strength, and is should arrive at its gracious best in some three or four years.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 1, 1998

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

As attractive as its first fruity impressions are, this pert mix of oak and cherry is too quickly governed by stiffening acids and slightly bitter tannins that quash its initial sense of prettiness. Its underlying fruit is lost to tangy toughness at the finish, and age alone seems unlikely to fully smooth its many edges.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 1, 1998

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Reserve Chardonnay Columbia Valley

A light, perfumy apple scent blends with creamy, spicy oak aromas in the clean, attractive aromas. A bit leaner and coarser in the mouth than the aromas suggest, the wine simply does not live up to the promise in the nose, and its finish is quiet with oak lingering in the aftertaste.

California Grapevine, November 1, 1998

87 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Reserve Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Attractive, initially subdued, toasty, green apple aroma; rich, fairly intense, toasty, spiced apple, tropical fruit flavors; well structured. Deserves some bottle aging.

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, November 1, 1998

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Reserve Syrah Columbia Valley

Complex aromas of pepper, tar, spice, plum and coffee offer more than the wine ultimately delivers in the mouth. Its tight, dry, tannin-clipped flavors never quite find a sufficiently fruity voice, and both time and luck will be needed before it becomes a complete picture of syrah.

Northwest Palate, October 1, 1998

1 grape clusters, “Recommended”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Horse Heaven Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Dark purple garnet color. Initially closed, opens to reveal cassis and barrel toast. Sweet, jammy currant fruit with vanilla and toast. Warm, tannic finish - age 2 - 3 years.

Northwest Palate, October 1, 1998

2 grape clusters, “Highly Recommended”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Complex aroma of caramel candy, anise, tea leaves, and citrus. Creamy, rich, and toasty on the palate. Warm, toasty style with a lively vein of citrus acidity. Try with sushi.

Restaurant Wine, October 1, 1998

5 stars, “Exceptional”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Possibly the best Chardonnays ever from this winery, tasting remarkably like very good white Burgundy. The Canoe Ridge version is more complex yet, tasting of roasted nut, lemon peel, honey, vanilla, and toasted oak. Very long finish.

Restaurant Wine, October 1, 1998

5 stars, “Exceptional”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1996 Columbia Valley Chardonnay Columbia Valley

The best standard bottling of Chardonnay we have ever tasted from this winery. It is supple, complex in flavor, and well-balanced, with delicate, fine character, and a crisp finish. In aroma/flavor, it is reminiscent of lemon peel, honey, and vanilla.

Northwest Palate, October 1, 1998

3 grape clusters, “Exceptional”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Reserve Merlot Columbia Valley

Dark red garnet color. Complex, concentrated aromas of berry, currant, mint, and cedar spice. Full-bodied, round, juicy flavors of rip berry fruit; soft tannins with a chocolate/graham finish. Exceptional balance. Enjoy now with a grilled rib-eye steak.

Northwest Palate, October 1, 1998

3 grape clusters, “Exceptional”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Horse Heaven Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley

Dark purple garnet. Deep ripe berry, plum aroma with a hint of mint. Ripe berry flavors with well-balanced oak and cedar notes. Rich, ripe, and lush with a long, spicy finish. Pair with a thick cut of prime rib.

Wine & Spirits, October 1, 1998

90 points, “Top Ten Merlot”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Horse Heaven Vineyard Merlot Columbia Valley

The saturated color and aromas of cherry fruit, oak and milk chocolate predict the fulness of this merlot. On the palate, ripe bing cherry fruit, crisp acids and a full texture lead into a soft finish with a little sweetness.^Over the last twelve months, Wine & Spirits tasted 214 American merlots. Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Horse Heaven Vineyard Merlot rated as one of the top 10. June 1999

Northwest Palate, October 1, 1998

1 grape clusters, “Recommended”

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Reserve Syrah Columbia Valley

Opaque garnet in color. Toast, tarry aroma with hints of violet and berry jam. Juicy, warm flavors of wild berry fruit with chocolate in the finish. Well-balanced; serve now with lasagne.

Wine Spectator, September 15, 1998

90 points

Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Columbia Valley Merlot Columbia Valley

Silky texture makes this immediately appealing as it show off its pretty blackberry and plum flavors. The fruit swirls through the soft finish, echoing on the delicate aftertaste. A well-made wine that keeps its oak nicely in check.

Indian Wells label on bottle