Chateau Ste. Michelle Vintage Select Riesling

Maker: Chateau Ste. Michelle

Grape: Riesling

Vintage: 2007

Region: Columbia Valley AVA (Washington State)

ABV: 12%

Appearance: golden straw

Nose: light and sweet. Peach and orange.

On the palate: medium bodied. The peach comes through very strongly, a welcome change from the pear flavors that seem to dominate many younger, less complex Rieslings. As the glass warms, the peach stays, but the orange emerges from its shadow and a slight tartness sets in.

Finish: the finish is less complex. A big hit of orange, then peach, then a long, strong sweetness.

Parting words: I had buyer’s remorse almost as soon as I bought this bottle. I’ve been burned by musty, dusty over-aged Rieslings before and I wasn’t sure if my heart could take another disappointment from one of my favorite grapes. I’m very glad I took the plunge. This is a stellar wine. Riesling and Gewutz love the Columbia Valley and it loves them. And I love them all. Chateau Ste. Michelle is a pretty easy to find brand, but the next time you’re at Meijer or your favorite supermarket, do what I do. Look at the bottles on the back of the shelf. Many of the hard-working people who stock wine shelves at supermarkets just put the new bottles at the front of the shelf, pushing the older bottles to the back. A wino can find some great, well-aged bottles that way. This was one of them.

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