One of the Washington state wine industry’s most important vineyards was planted twice — first in 1973, and much of its 500 acres were again because of the winter kill from December 1978. Since then, Ste. Michelle has expanded the site west of the Vernita Bridge beyond 800 acres. Its remarkable versatility and impact go well beyond the namesake bottlings, including this expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. The budget for barrels is significant considering 51% of the wine saw new oak, most of French. At this point, the wood up front, offering a layer of dusty toast over the dark purple fruit tones and rubs of lavender and lilac. Bright and sweet cherries add to the appeal that’s joined by persistent tannins that carry a lingering grip that will serve it well alongside osso bucco and Pappardelle with Veal Ragù. In 2023, Ste. Michelle staged a series of celebrations linked to 50 years of Cold Creek, and Chateau Ste. Michelle’s online shop features some vineyard-designed bottles from its library, including a 2014 Cold Creek Syrah and double magnum of 2015 Cold Creek Merlot.
Rating: 89 points — Excellent
Production: 7,034 cases