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Wine of the Week: Chateau Ste Michelle 2012 Dry Riesling @SteMichelle

Hello Old Friend.

Chateau Ste Michelle has made Riesling for decades. There was a time I could not think of one without thinking of the other. Washington Riesling and Chateau Ste Michelle were synonymous. Riesling was Washington wine (we called it Johannisberg Riesling at the time).

This was one of the first wines I drank on a regular basis. I have noted many times on this blog that I've wandered away from Washington Riesling. Seduced by other varieties and styles of wine. On a whim I purchased this bottle of Riesling to get a feel, a taste, an idea of what a $6 bottle of Washington Riesling is delivering. I wondered, is it good? Is it something I would drink today?

For this post I did a little research on Riesling and this famous winery. You can't grow Riesling the same way you grow red wine grapes. Site location is important and proven sites for Riesling are finally being established. Some growers are starting to treat Riesling with respect. Evidently Riesling is back in vogue. From bone dry, off-dry to sweet styles at the forefront is Chateau Ste Michelle who " the largest single producer of Riesling in the world, and accounts for 18% of all domestic Riesling sales...At Ste. Michelle headquarters in Woodinville, there have been three global conferences devoted to Riesling in the past five years." Source: "Riesling Rules" by Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast 05/24/2011

Chateau Ste Michelle produces at least eight different Rieslings. In fact, in 2012 Chateau Ste Michelle produced a whopping 1.2 million cases of Riesling. This bottle of Dry Riesling is their entry level bottling, considered an "any day" Riesling. Dry Riesling is my preferred style.

Tasting Notes 2012 Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling:

Color: Yellow green.
Nose: Mineral, toast, kiwi, lychee.
Palate: Granny smith apple, juicy crisp, dry, mineral finish. Closed my eyes and tasted like I had just eaten a fresh Granny smith apple. Big smile. With air this wine delivered floral + citrus on the nose, it drank dry with a fuller expression.

Thoughts: Most of the action was on the attack and finish. It had bracing acidity and more complexity than I expected for $6. Pair with crab, oysters, sashimi, salad, mild cheese and dried fruit. A versatile wine perfect for picnics too. This is a big wine for the price and worthy of a Wine of the Week. It would be perfect for your 4th of July celebration. Recommended.

ABV: 13%
Closure: Natural cork
Production: 80,000 cases
Winemaker: Wendy Stuckey
Paid: $5.95

Chateau Ste Michelle
14111 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
Open Daily 10:00am-5:00pm
Phone: (425) 488-1133

*Note: If you would like to learn more about Chateau Ste Michelle's Riesling program and the people involved, I strongly suggest you read: "Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 2012 Riesling a record 1.2 million cases" By Andy Perdue, Great Northwest Wine, June 18, 2013

Hello old friend, you have been missed.


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