Much like many examples of Pinot Gris from Washington, there’s also a more tropical style of Chardonnay grown in Washington when pulled from warmer sites in the Columbia Valley. David Rosenthal works with vineyards from the Wahluke Slope to Cold Creek — two of the Northwest’s hottest growing regions — for this popular style. It’s youthful and loaded with baked orchard fruit, crème fraîche, light toast and allspice, yet balanced with hints of mint, lemon verbena and fresh orange zest. Serve with salmon, crab and white meat accented by lemon and herbs. This is the second Platinum for this tier of Ste. Michelle Chardonnay. Award: San Francisco Chronicle (gold).
Rating: Platinum, 93 points
Production: 65,000 cases