Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $20

By on January 3, 2017

A few years ago, the Indian Wells tier began to reflect a style that became synonymous with the Wahluke Slope vineyard. Head winemaker Bob Bertheau describes it as “unctuous,” and Syrah (52%) and Merlot (29%) always play leading roles in the Indian Wells Red Blend. Its namesake vineyard, as well as Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate,  three of Washington’s largest vineyards — an each an estate planting for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates – factor into this jaunty red. Nearly half of the oak barrels used for this were new, and those components provide accents of coffee, toast and milk chocolate just behind the fruity aromas of blackberry, dark blueberry, black tea and resin. Inside, it’s big, fat and juicy with cherries, blackberries and blueberries. Dusty tannins, Earl Grey tea and bittersweet chocolate round out this well-made, yet uncomplicated red that Bertheau loves with dry-rubbed barbecued ribs. Enjoy it also with rich meats such as lamb and duck or stuffed peppers.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 45,000 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%

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Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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