Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wine Notebook: Chateau St. Michelle 2008 Riesling

Warning: I am NOT a wine expert. I am not even close. But I like wine. A lot. It's a "language" I share with my stepdad. We watch "Sideways" and laugh like little wine snobs at the "I'm not fu*&ing drinking Merlot!" part. Paul Giamatti is our patron saint.

I was getting my hair did last week and my stylist "Corky" (not making this up) and I were talking wine. She shamed me with all her facts and the lingo she knew, but the part I took away from the conversation (aside from a FAAABULOUS new hair cut) is the "wine notebook." For her, it's a small journal she writes in when she finds a wine she likes, so she can remember it later.

I buy 2-3 different bottles of wine per month, and I never write them down, so I never remember what I've tried. My method of choosing? Labels. I find the funny, scary, weird, colorful, dark label that catches my eye and if it's one of the varietals I like (Red: Shiraz, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel; White: Riesling, Pinot Grigio, or Gewurtzamiener) I grab it. Oh, and price...I don't go much above $15/bottle. I'm cheap, what can I say??

Anyway, since I have forbidden myself from buying ONE MORE journal (of the paper persuasion), I am taking it to the blog. Not saying I can keep it up all that much, but with the amount of wine I'm putting back, I should keep track somehow. And who knows, maybe some of my pals on here will throw some suggestions my way. Worth a shot....

So, my first shot? A rated "Good Buy" from Wine Spectator that P and I have been drinking for months and months because he won't do red wine (*sigh*) and this one hit a sweet spot with him. And, c''s cheap (price wise.) Normally, about $10...on sale, I can nab it for $6.75. Yes!

Chateau St. Michelle 2008 Riesling

Here is what the vineyard has to say about their own wine:

Tasting Notes

“Our Columbia Valley Riesling is a mélange of Riesling from throughout
Washington’s Columbia Valley. We craft it to be a refreshing, off-dry
Riesling vintage after vintage. The wine delivers sweet lime and peach
character with subtle mineral notes. This is our “every day Riesling”
that is a pleasure to drink and easy to match with a variety of foods.”


A “perfect” ripening season • with full crop yields, and restrained sugar levels
led to outstanding wines from Washington state’s Columbia Valley in 2008.
• Delayed slightly by cool spring weather and a moderate summer, harvest
began 10 days later than normal.
• Hot weather in August provided ideal ripening conditions for grapes across
all varietals and harvest was quickly ramped up in order to obtain fruit at the
optimum ripeness.


• Columbia Valley vineyards lie in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains
and receive just 6-8 inches of rainfall annually.
• Warm, sunny days and cool evening temperatures create ideal conditions
for intense aroma and flavor development in the ripening grapes.
• Sandy soils with low fertility and low water-holding capacity enable
precise control of vine growth.
• A northerly latitude gives the Columbia Valley roughly two more hours
of sunlight daily during the peak-growing season than California,
increasing the region’s ability to ripen fruit.


• Riesling grapes were harvested starting on September 22th at the peak
of flavor.
• Fermentation temperatures were maintained at 50-55 degrees F to
preserve Riesling’s fresh and fruity character, using an assortment of
yeasts for added complexity.

Food Pairing

Foods fresh fruit, crab,
mild cheeses, chicken
Herbs chervil, coriander seeds,
dill, parsley

An "official" review:

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Riesling Columbia Valley
"87 points - “Good Value” Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine - September 1, 2009 "

"When it comes to Riesling, Chateau Ste. Michelle is a producer that clearly knows how, and even this, its least expensive effort, is a precise, brightly balanced wine with a keen sense of fruit. Its integral acids take the edge off its slight sweetness and make it a good choice for quaffing with the likes of fresh crab or scallops in a light cream sauce or with lightly smoked trout. Good value."

See, I don't really speak Wine yet, but I thought that was a ton of good information. And I love that wine. Love, love, love it! Oh, and what the hell does "quaffing" mean, anyway?? Sounds kinda dirty...just sayin'.

No comments:

Post a Comment