Price: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s
What They Said:
Per Chateau Ste. Michelle “We craft our Columbia Valley Riesling to be an inviting, refreshing, off-dry Riesling vintage after vintage. This Riesling consistently delivers classic Washington state Riesling characters of juicy peach, ripe pear, melon, with subtle mineral notes. This is our everyday Riesling that is versatile and easy to drink.”
-Bob Bertheau, Head Winemaker
What I Think:
This one was recommended to me a while back via a comment from Danny. First off thanks for the tip, I always appreciate them. Keep’em coming all! That said I sat on for a while. Based on my lukewarm experience with the ’06 vintage of the same I was a bit hesitant. Especially given having a very dependable alternative in one of my long time favorites; the Dr. Beckermann Spatlese. When I saw Dr. Debs recent post on exploring Washington wines starting with Rieslings from Columbia Valley I had to join the journey and grabbed a bottle.
On opening, the color is striking (especially compared to L’Accessa). The color is almost see through straw, akin to a champagne or sparkler. This was the first, but wouldn’t be the last, characteristic of this wine that had me drawing comparisons to Sauvignon Blanc. The nose started very crisp, a common occurrence straight out of the fridge. Unlike Gary Vee (link it up Jason ?) I was looking forward to the journey to room temperature. Mr. Vaynerchuk favors starting there straight away. Personally, as a casual drinker/taster, I like to see the wine at some different stages. I’ve found I like some very cold, some at room temperature and most somewhere in between. In addition, I enjoy seeing the different taste profiles, or personas in my day job, the wine has given based on the temperature. What would be really interesting is to start tracking the temperature with my tasting notes. Anyone ever done that? Sorry, wine geek moment.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. At the front of the palate you initially find a crispness with a bit of acidity which breaks open to rich white fruit on the mid palate with green apple prevalent and white, peachy notes lurking nearby. Bit of oak or something else on the finish? I was getting stones and mineral with hints of lemon rind; again almost a Sauvgnon Blanc-ish finish. I’m a fan. Revisiting the ’06 it looks like my initial perceptions were tainted by a poor food pairing, not a disappointing wine. That said, for my taste buds, this one is not for the traditional spicy food. Skip the Asian pairing angle here. Good news that is where the Dr. Beckermann’s thrives. A surprising outcome, on the Chateau Ste. Michelle. Unexpected and delightful, all the good flavors of Riesling without a hint of sweetness. I’ve already bought three more bottles and recommend you grab one for yourself. Looking forward to hearing what you think!
Rating: Buy It