Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Ethos Reserve Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $36

By on June 26, 2014

chateau-ste-michelle-ethos-chardonnay-bottle-nvSome of Washington’s top bottlings of Chardonnay come from Cold Creek Vineyard — a hot 40-year-old side across the Columbia River from the Wahluke Slope — and that site dominates this top-tier release by Bob Bertheau. Most of the lot underwent ambient yeast fermentation, and it was aged for 10 months on the lees in French oak, some of the barrels being brand new. There’s a fair bit of oak in the aromas, along with baked bread, lemon, green banana and clove. It’s rich and round on the palate with up-front butterscotch and orchard fruit flavors, lemony acidity and virtually no bitterness. Those who enjoy reserve-style Chardonnay with balance will appreciate this, especially if paired with salmon poached with lemon or pasta influenced by truffle oil and thyme.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 1,800 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%

Winery website

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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