Washington Riesling not just a Ste. Michelle thing

By on July 9, 2017

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2015 Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling, Columbia Valley, $16

Few producers use the phrase “old vines” on their Riesling labels, but the phrase applies to Cold Creek Vineyard, one of the most historic sites in Washington state and more than 40 years old. And that Riesling thrives in the same vineyard as Cabernet Sauvignon showcases the successful versatility of the Columbia Valley. Bob Bertheau has produced vineyard-designate wines featuring individual varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay, and his work with Cold Creek Riesling often doesn’t get the acclaim that it deserves. The 2015 vintage continues its theme of lush orchard fruit such as Honeycrisp apple and Cling peach aromas and flavors, and there are touches of lavender and diesel. Lemony acidity and minerality provide delicious balance to the 1.5% residual sugar, and it settles right between “medium dry” and “medium sweet” on the International Riesling Foundation Taste Profile scale. Enjoy with crab, a plate of cheese and fruit, poultry and Asian fare.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 5,000 cases

Alcohol: 12.5%

Winery website

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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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