What do you think of when people talk about Chateau Ste. Michelle... $9 Riesling? I think most people would be surprised to learn about all of the domestic wines that are part of their winery along with some of the amazing international wineries that they import and represent in the United States. They are behind incredible brands like Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Patz and Hall, produce monster brands like 14 Hands and Columbia Crest, and import world renowned Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne and Antinori out of Italy. These are just some examples of the tip of the iceberg.
This week we are going to take a look at a few of their other domestic brands like Seven Falls, Borne of Fire and their brand new Prayers of Sinners series along with one of their import brands out of New Zealand, Villa Maria.
Come grab a flight for only $5!
2018 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough, New Zealand; $14.99
Villa Maria Estate is one of the international wineries that Chateau Ste. Michelle imports and represents in the United States. The winery was founded in 1961 by Sir George Fistonich, who remains the sole owner and Managing Director. The estate includes properties in some of New Zealand’s most esteemed regions from Auckland to Marlborough. This family owned winery is celebrating over 55 years of passionate winemaking and innovation that has lead them to become New Zealand’s most awarded winery.
A nice balance of Awatere and Wairau Valleys. The Awatere brings that classic lemongrass, jalapeno, herbaceousness, while the Wairau delivers on the ripe and juicy citrus and tropical fruits. “...zesty limes and freshly picked herbs such as thyme and sage. On the palate, juicy acidity is balanced with flavors of melon, passionfruit and ruby grapefruit...” - $1.00 Sample
2015 Seven Falls Chardonnay – Wahluke Slope, Washington; $15.99
The Seven Falls label is one of the smallest of Chateau Ste. Michelle. This label was created to feature wines made from one of the smallest AVAs in Washington, Wahluke Slope. Their are currently only twenty vineyards in the AVA and they are all southern facing, which makes it one of the warmest places to grow in Washington State.
The grapes for this one come from the Dick Shaw and Jack Jones vineyards. In 2018 Dick and Wendy Shaw were the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame inductees along with being selected by their peers as the Washington Growers of the Year in 2015. Jack planted the Jones vineyard in 1997 after his family had been farming other crops in Washington for more than 50 years. In 2012 Jones of Washington was named Washington Winery of the Year… The point being… This wine uses some incredibly high quality grapes. Aged 9 months in mainly French oak and stirred weekly for the first six months. The resulting wine is incredibly creamy. Fresh tropical fruit notes of pineapple and papaya, apples, melon, graham cracker, and a nutty vanilla finish. - $1.50 Sample
2017 Prayers of Sinners Red Blend – Washington; $9.99
This is one of the newest releases from the Ste. Michelle portfolio. Another one of those pointless proprietary names for a blend, but I guess these days it really is about what label stands out. This wine truly surprised me though. Labeled as a blend, but is 90% Syrah so it could just be a varietal label. Filled out with some Merlot to add a bit of fruit complexity. It was fermented as a mix of whole cluster and crushed grapes. The whole cluster gives the wine lots of fresh jammy fruit with the crushed fruit bringing more of the structure. Lots of dense blackberry and currant fruit, with hints of violets and a smoky, chocolatey finish. - $1.00 Sample
2017 Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon – Columbia Valley, Washington; $19.99
Named after a region in the Columbia Valley known as “The Burn” which is waiting final approval, but is expected to be officially the newest AVA in Washington. The region is a unique combination of a very warm climate, greater precipitation, higher concentration of moisture-retaining loess soils, and longer hang time. This makes it a perfect place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon.
Borne of Fire is now in its second vintage. Aged in large format, lightly toasted Hungarian oak barrels that help soften and round out the wine without imparting much flavor from the oak. It is a nice balance of New World dense fruit with a little Old World elegance. Tons of red fruits with some dusty earthy-ness and a spicy finish. - $1.50 Sample