Wine of the Week: Chateau St. Michele Eroica Riesling 2014

“And everywhere I went the world of wine offered me a warm welcome, camaraderie, and more knowledge.” Bruck Jack

Welcome to Monday, everyone's favorite day of the week, it's time for the wine of the week. A review with a little throw-back flavor to it. For a large segment of the budding wine enthusiast community, times are tough, and finding a bottle of wine with some soul can be a difficult task for under $20. I secured this wine from a local wine shop not so long ago, a bottle dwelling in virtual obscurity until it was brought to my attention the other day by a colleague, a young man named Eric who gave it a hearty recommendation. I took said bottle to a local tasting group and put it through its paces alongside some other not so wonderful red wines from Washington State, pictured below.

This bottle was secured by the sweat of my own brow (okay, no sweat was actually involved) and no samples were uncorked in the process of writing this review, no fannies to tickle and absolutely no pandering. The other part of the reason, I wanted to bring this wine to your attention, is that it represents in this reviewers mind, what I like to call an, "an everyday luxury." Yes, isn't nice just open a bottle of something light and lean, tho made in relatively large quantities but stamped with boutique taste and aroma profile.

Chateau St. Michele (CSM) Eroica Riesling 2014, Ancient Lakes AVA: A wine that is found widely in distribution, all along the west coast in chain stores, with an upper price range, most consumers are not willing to splurge to obtain. I found the color in the glass to be light, slightly greenish to yellow hay, bright clarity. The aromas were, aromatic and delivered the classic Riesling characteristics. A considerable amount of petrol, a bit carbonated, stone fruits like apricot, lime rind, wet stone, and white peach flesh.

Here comes the tedious tasting note, look away now if you can't handle it. The taste was a bit off-dry, tho the acidity was crisp, the body was medium, and the tannins were light, well integrated. On the palate, kiwi slices, grated lime rind, wet stone minerality, stone fruits, apricot, peach, and nectarine.  The finish was long and persistent. I would recommend this wine, especially those seeking to pair this wine with spicy cuisines, like Thai food. This wine also found its way into the highly coveted and rarely awarded 'recommended' category.

Chateau Ste. Michelle has won many hearts and minds with the average consumer, filling empty wine glasses with reasonably well-made wines which deliver good quality, without the many artificial types of filler that many of their competitors in California are alleged to do. CSM is many things to many people, and they produce enough wine to stay in full distribution, year around, their wines are widely accepted, and sought after.

Their wines have proper shelf placement in chain stores. Their chain store lineup of wines is what I often refer to, as to (one my favorite catchphrases) "keep the lights on wines" like the Indian Wells 'Chardie' below. That means these are the workhorse wines which help pay the bills, keep people employed, these types of wine allow CSM to pursued new projects. It's also a factor which enables them to operate a winery within a winery. What many folks don’t know is that while CSM is smart with chain store line, they also make many bottlings which are not available in distribution.

If you’d like to visit their tasting room in Woodinville, a short drive from Seattle, about twenty, to thirty minutes. The grounds are beautiful and inviting. The staff is open and friendly. They offer a variety of wine tasting experiences, with different price points and educational opportunities. In the tasting room, there are opportunities to taste and purchase wines, which you may find in a restaurant or two, but will not be in distribution. It’s likely these wines will be small production lots, and from selected blocks.

It’s a winery which offers food and pairing classes, and they provide an opportunity for a fantastic family-friendly summer concert series each year. CSM is also part of the sustainability movement, employing all of today’s buzzwords to an ever-growing green conscious consumer base. They offer an impressive array of wines at all the major price points, reds, whites, dry roses and even a collection of sparkling wine, something for everyone, even wine snobs like me. 

For those of you interested in scorekeeping, I scored this wine 90 points. A bottle which is well worth the price admission and wine worth seeking out if you could get your hands on it. Especially so, if you're a fan of "rustic charms." Until next time folks remember life is too short to drink bad wine, so choose wisely, drink only what you like, then sip long and prosper cheers!


Anonymous said…
Fun article, I've still not tried this wine from St. Michele, but hey, I heard Riesling pairs with everything under the sun, and it's the next cutting-edge varietal to take the wine universe by storm. What do you think?

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