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Chateau Ste. Michelle Vintage Reserve Club - Classic Focus Newsletter

2012 Ethos Reserve Chardonnay
Columbia Valley. The Ethos Reserve Chardonnay is an expression of Old World “Burgundian” style of complexity and elegance combined with our beautiful, expressive Washington Chardonnay fruit.
Pair this wine with Papardelle with Chanterelles. Get the recipe. Download Fact Sheet »
Retail: $38 | Club members: $30.40
Reorder online »
Watch Video Tasting Notes

2011 Ethos Reserve Merlot
Columbia Valley. Offers blueberry fruit with wonderful complexity and rich layers. Our Merlots in Washington are so big and concentrated, we actually add Cabernet to soften the tannins!
Pair this wine Roasted Pork Loin with Morel Mushroom Merlot Saucce.  Get the Recipe. Download Fact Sheet »
Retail: $50 | Club members: $40
Reorder online »
Watch Video Tasting Notes

Winemaker Notes
A Special Focus on Ethos by Head Winemaker Bob Bertheau
Definition of Ethos: Greek for “character”. Trustworthiness or credibility. Ethos is often conveyed through tone and style, and refers to differing views. It can also refer to expertise in a field, previous record or integrity.

When I set out to create our Ethos blends every year, I am trying to convey three things: the vintage, the variety and the art of blending to find that perfect balance of power and style that showcase our grape growing and winemaking for that vintage.

The key words in the definition above are integrity, expertise and credibility. All three of these traits are extremely important to me and our winegrowing team crafting all our blends, but Ethos is at the top of the list. We literally are looking for the best of the best in terms of concentration, power and complexity. To find that magic combination that highlights the vintage perfectly is a labor of love, and can take numerous blending sessions to achieve. We want wines of breed, integrity and age worthiness. I hope you agree.

2012 Ethos Reserve Chardonnay
Crafted from 86% Cold Creek and 14% Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyards, the 2012 Ethos Reserve Chardonnay shows that nice combination of powerful, old vine Cold Creek fruit with the complexity of 2/3 natural yeast barrel fermentation. This blend is truly a barrel by barrel selection for the vintage as these natural fermentations can have great variability from barrel to barrel. That is the difficulty of these wines, but also creates the beguiling complexity I demand for our Ethos Reserve Chardonnay blends. The Canoe Ridge Estate fruit adds some finesse and fresh fruit characters that offset the power of the Cold Creek wines. A perfect marriage of vineyards and winemaking. Watch video

2011 Ethos Reserve Merlot
Being a cooler vintage in Washington state, I found some amazingly balanced, harmonious wines coming out of our warmer sites, including Cold Creek. 74% of this blend is from Cold Creek Vineyard, which I adored in 2011. The balance of the blend came from a warmer site on the Wahluke Slope AVA, keeping to the theme of warm site fruit in a cooler year makes really good wine. The blend is crafted with 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, a harmony between the two varieties that showcases the vintage very well. Watch video


Test Your Wine Savvy
Would you classify your level of wine knowledge as Oenologist, Sommelier, or simply Wine Enthusiast? Guest Services Wine Educator Joan Fennell has provided a few trivia questions for you to test your wine skills:

  1. Once a barrel is partially made, what element is a barrel maker's tool for shaping and adding flavor to the oak staves?
  2. What climate threat is feared at the time of bud break?
  3. What two ingredients are added to a base wine to make a sparkling wine?
  4. What is the essential biological process that makes grape juice into wine?

(Answers at the bottom of this email.)



Classic Focus Club Release Night
March 12th | 5:30-7:30pm
Celebrate your new releases for spring in the Wine Shop as we sip, savor and discuss the latest club wines. Learn More »


Spring Barrel Tasting
March 15th & 16th| 12:00-5:00pm
Tastings from several wines still undergoing barrel-aging with one of our award-winning winemakers. $20 at the door. Learn more »


SESSIONS: Big Sur
March 15th | Doors Open 7:30pm
Soulful, at times orchestral, indie folk. Part Mazzy Star and part Frank Black, with a little Bill Withers for good measure.
$25 Buy Tickets »

Redmond Winemaker Dinner
March 21st | 6pm Reception/6:30pm Dinner
Taste Washington is a great way to focus on our state’s wonderful bounty of wines. Delight in great food matched with Ste. Michelle wines.
$85 plus tax and gratuity. Learn more »

Tango Through Argentina Chef Dinner
March 29th | 7:00pm
Chef Kurt Olson and Assistant Red Winemaker KD Organ recreate recipes from Argentina paired with Ste. Michelle wines.
$105 club members plus tax. Buy Tickets »

SESSIONS: Hannalee
April 5th | Doors Open 7:30pm
Traditional folk music with elements of dark, neverland whimsy, this Seattle trio creates a unique music strange and familiar at once.
$25 Buy Tickets »

Treasures of the Earth Chef Dinner
April 26th | 7:00pm
Chef Scott Harberts and Enologist Brian Mackey showcase how locally grown and sustainable ingredients pair perfectly with our wines.
$105 club members plus tax. Buy Tickets »

VRC Tour de Cure
May 10th
We invite our VRC Members to join Chateau Ste. Michelle’s team for this fundraising cycling event.
Learn more »



RECENT ACCLAIM
2012 Eroica Gold Riesling, Columbia Valley
92 pts - Wine & Spirits (February 2014)
“This is the first release of Gold Riesling from the Ste. Michelle-Loosen partnership; it's a full wine with an element of botrytis, which the regular Eroica bottling rarely possesses. Full of ripe tropical flavor, this leads with scents of ripe peach and mango, adorned by saffron and smoke. It has the amplitude, the concentration and weight to ensure a long life, or to pair with sauerbraten.”

2010 Ethos Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
91 pts - Wine Spectator (March 2014)
“Firm and chewy, presenting a pulsing core of black cherry, guava and spice flavors that push through the layer of tannins to the focused, expressive finish.”

2011 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
88 pts & “Best Buy” - Wine & Spirits (February 2014)
“Purple and dark, with a smoky line shadowing the fruit in its aromas, this up-front cabernet supports a subtle, forest-floor bottom note. There's some elegance to the flavors, en route to a chocolaty finish. Serve with a steak.”



We allow you 6 months from your release date to pick up your wine; we simply do not have the space to hold previous club selections.

Therefore, we ask that you abide by this policy and come see us in this time frame. If you are unable to visit us within the 6 month time frame, please call our concierge at 1-800-866-6276.

If you do not contact us after the 6 months, we donate your wine to our Charitable Donations Program.



Trivia Answers:
1. Fire    2. Frost    3. Yeast and Sugar     4. Fermentation



©2014 Chateau Ste. Michelle • PO Box 1976 • Woodinville, WA 98072
WA Lic#361586 | CT Lic#LSL.0000692
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