1. Chateau Ste Michelle, Eroica Riesling 2007
2. Hugel Riesling 2007
3. Chateau Ste Michelle, Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006
4. Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne Chardonnay 2006
5. Chateau Ste Michelle, Cold Creek Chardonnay 2003
6. William Fevre, Chablis 2006 (Chardonnay)
7. Wolf Blass Gold Label, Eden Valley Riesling 2006
Chateau Ste Michelle, Eroica Riesling 2007
This wine is made in conjunction with Dr Ernst Loosen. So, a pale straw color with hints of passionfruit on the nose, honeysuckle and subtle red clay. On the palate it was dry with medium intensity grapefruit, dashes of gooseberry and lime. Medium to high acidity and a medium length finish. The numbers: 20gsm and acidity of 3ph. The acidity was refreshing. A good one for summer picnics.
Hugel Riesling 2007
Entry level wine from Alsace. Mass produced and alright to drink, but boring. If you haven’t tried this wine, then you must have been in a coma for the last 10 years. Ok, ok for those of you who don’t know it here are a few tasting notes. Sweet and rich honeyed nose. Wet rock on the palate along, a medium body but lacking mid-palate. Sweet finish.
Chateau Ste Michelle, Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006
Wow! Huge nose full of caramelized butterscotch and definite malolactic fermentation. On the palate there was some baked apple, almost fermented. Reminded me of red apples dipped in hot candy at my elementary school’s fair. This was a big wine coming in at 14% alcohol. My friend’s favorite wine on the day.
Bouchard Pere & Fils, Bourgogne Chardonnay 2006
Another mass-produced French wine. This one was a real reflection of french terroir. The bouquet was restrained and mineraly. It was light to medium bodied with cold river rocks and hints of melon on the palate. A little flabby and lacking backbone despite the presence of some oak. To be fair, a different style of Chardonnay from the previous Chard, but it left me wanting a lot more.
Chateau Ste Michelle, Cold Creek Chardonnay 2003
Light gold color, with banana and tropical fruit on the nose. Fresh acidity on entry and the banana flavor continuing. Slightly caramlized mid-palate with subtle fig. The acidity kept this one together without letting the fruit dominate. Medium finish with pleasant green apple.
William Fevre, Chablis 2006
Another entry-level wine from France. WSET had really stacked the cards here. How could France compete? If you don’t know this wine, then you must be blind when you visit a wine shop. Pale gold color, subtle gooseberry and acid on the nose. Austere limestone and minerality on the palate. Short finish.
Wolf Blass Gold Label, Eden Valley Riesling 2006
This wine was an pleasant surprize from WSET. I think they felt bad for cramming 30 of us into the small tasting room. Deep gold color. Huge petroleum nose that drowned everything else in the bouquet. On the palate there was dried mandarin skin and a refreshing acidic spritz. A interesting wine that will continue to develop with age. Another year or two.
Wine production in Washington State is second only to California. Washington State has 10 AVAs, (American Viticultural Areas), Columbia Valley and Yakima Valley AVAs being the largest. Washington State is in a rain-shadow of the Cascade Mountains and is therefore desert dry with mostly silty, rocky soils medium to low fertility. Vineyards use a lot of irrigation. The state is intersected by the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The state has a lot of sunshine hours, (2,021) but cool, crisp nights that drop down to freezing. It snows in winter too. The cold allows the wine to retain it’s acidity.