Good Wine, Happy Camper
Fall is settling on us quite rapidly. Today, our sunny afternoon was framed by ominous dark clouds lurking on the horizon north of us. It‘s unsettling how quickly the cool weather descends on SE Washington. That touch of autumn sunshine put me in the mood for grilling steaks tonight. I‘ll embrace the sun when I can. But, what good is steak without wine? On my way home, I grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. On a whim, I bought a wine I would not usually purchase; it was priced on sale for less that $15. My expectations were not high for the wine, I was just hoping for something palatable.
Chateau St. Michelle
Chateau St. Michelle, is a Washington winery - an Eastern and Western Washington winery. The St. Michelle winery and tasting room is located in Woodinville, Washington, just across lake Washington from Seattle. However, this wine is made in Patterson, Washington, from Columbia Valley grapes (Indian Wells series) at their attractive Columbia Crest winery near the Columbia River in South Eastern Washington (about 35 miles from my home). Columbia Crest/Chateau St. Michelle is the largest producer of wine in Washington State (parent company formerly Stimson Lane now Altria).
Dinner turned out well, thick-cut delicious steak, grilled with mushrooms and a good assortment of veggies on the side. The wine was very good too. I opened the wine two hours before pouring. And yes, the wine improved immensely in those two hours. My bias against this wine is due to the size of the parent company. I tend to favor smaller Washington wineries. I must admit, I’m happy with this purchase.
The wine was tight when it was opened, but after a couple of hours some wonderful aromas emerged: a touch of spicy earth, cherry, and vanilla framed by a caress of tarragon. Good weight in the mouth, pleasantly dry, with flavors of spice, dark cherry and vanilla, which goads you to have another glass. Give it some air-time and this wine is sure to be a hit. Even with my considered bias, I like this wine and recommend it.
I seem to be off my Syrah kick - Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot seem to be tooting my horn lately.
Chateau St. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon