Bob Bertheau’s white wine team — now led by David Rosenthal — took this bottling up a notch from the 2014 vintage, earning our top rating for the first time in four years with this vineyard-designated Sauv Blanc from these 40-year-old vines overlooking the Columbia River near Paterson, Wash. The nose shows amazing complexity, ranging from Key lime juice, gooseberry pie and tangerine, joined by passionfruit, mint and a touch of nuttiness from the 32% barrel fermentation. Inside, the ride continues with grapefruit and gooseberry, yet there’s some midpalate creaminess from four months of surlie aging that’s hinted at by flavors of ripe melon and passionfruit. It’s all backed by awesome acidity. Unfortunately, there’s not as much of this available because Ste. Michelle trimmed production by more than half from 2013. And it’s no longer among the Best Buy! ranks. Enjoy with a bowl of steamed mussels, halibut, herb-influenced chicken, feta cheese, curries and green salads.
Production: 43,776 cases
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