Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wine #2: Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay

Our second wine comes from Washington, the second-largest wine-producing state in the nation. Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington's oldest winery and while they produce oceans of wine, CSM quality just keeps getting better.

The 2009 Columbia Valley Chardonnay is aged on its lees for more than six months and barreled in mostly older oak barrels to give the wine soft, integrated oak flavors and balanced richness. The final blend is juiced by 10% tank-fermented Chardonnay for a fresh lift that's still opulent.

Flavors of apple, pear and citrus meld beautifully with soft vanilla and spice. This lush wine will pair beautifully with crabcakes, richer salmon and shellfish dishes, white beans, polenta, white mushrooms, chicken tarragon and buttery or cream-sauced pastas.  

For an eye-opening experience, visit Chateau Ste. Michelle's white winemaking facility at their magnificent French-style chateau in Woodinville, a short drive from Seattle. You'll discover a new appreciation for Washington wines and Chateau Ste. Michelle's broad wine portfolio. Lovers of supple and rich red wines will want to seek out CSM's Indian Wells bottlings, named for the winery's Indian Wells vineyards rather than the namesake desert city. Even the Riesling-resistant will find they are powerless in the presence of Eroica and other racy Rieslings.

Find this terrific value at local grocers. If you make it on time to Albertson's wine sale, grab this great bargain at $7 or get your money's worth at their regular $12 price once the sale ends.  

Next up, Wine # 3: A rosier side of Cabernet Sauvignon

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