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Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Ethos Reserve 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

Winemaker Bob Bertheau’s goal is to produce a softer mouthfeel and enhanced complexity in the red wines, while highlighting Washington fruit character. Ripe grapes were destemmed, crushed and inoculated with various strains of yeast to maximize complexity. Daily gentle pumpovers were used to extract optimal flavor and color and minimize harsh tannins. The pumpovers can vary by block, tank and day of fermentation. Every ferment is tasted every day to evaluate the evolution of the tannins, modify extraction techniques and find the right moment to drain the wine off of its skins. Aged for 22 months in American and French oak. Frequent airative racking took place during barrel aging to soften tannins and enhance mouthfeel.

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Chateau Ste. Michelle:
  You’d be hard-pressed (just like the grapes!) to find a more influential winery than Chateau Ste. Michelle. It’s Washington State’s oldest winery, getting its start when Pommerelle Wine Company and the National Wine Company merged in 1954 to form the American Wine Growers. From there, they created a premium line of vinifera wines in 1967 called “Ste. Michelle ... Read more
  You’d be hard-pressed (just like the grapes!) to find a more influential winery than Chateau Ste. Michelle. It’s Washington State’s oldest winery, getting its start when Pommerelle Wine Company and the National Wine Company merged in 1954 to form the American Wine Growers. From there, they created a premium line of vinifera wines in 1967 called “Ste. Michelle Vintners,” under the direction of Andre Tchelistcheff, which is where Ste. Michelle really took off. Their first vines were planted at the now-legendary Cold Creek Vineyard in Eastern Washington in 1972. When a French style chateau was built in Woodinville by Ste. Michelle Vintners in 1976, the winery finally became known as Chateau Ste. Michelle. The terroir is very important for Chateau Ste. Michelle. Columbia Valley isn’t just important because they have over 3,500 acres under vine there - they love the land, and they even helped to make it recognized as an American Viticulture Area (AVA). Columbia Valley produces more Riesling than any other American region, and Chateau Ste. Michelle leads that charge as the leading North American Riesling producer. Chateau Ste. Michelle is known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it didn’t become great magically. They actually have two separate wineries, one for making whites, and another for making reds, which allows them to have complete control of the process. In fact, they’re so serious about the difference that they have dedicated winemakers for each color. While Bob Bertheau is their head winemaker who oversees all wine, Joshua Maloney oversees only the red wines, and Wendy Stuckey cares for the white. This allows Chateau Ste. Michelle to consistently create world-class wines that never fail to surprise judges. Read less

Tasting Notes:

“Our goal with the Ethos Cabernet is to find the best Washington Cabernet of the vintage and make it our ‘star of the show.’ Rich aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum, mocha and cedar lead to a full mouthfeel with a long finish. The sheer power of Washington Cabernet makes this a very ageable wine. The power of the vintage also adds to this intense blend, mostly from Cold Creek and the Wahluke Slope. I added 8% Merlot from Weinbau, a great Merlot block on the Wahluke Slope as well as 4% Petit Verdot. Both of these additions gave us remarkable depth and richness to layer on top of all the amazing Cabernet fruit.”

Winemaker Bob Bertheau’s goal is to produce a softer mouthfeel and enhanced complexity in the red wines, while highlighting Washington fruit character. Ripe grapes were destemmed, crushed and inoculated with various strains of yeast to maximize complexity. Daily gentle pumpovers were used to extract optimal flavor and color and minimize harsh tannins. The pumpovers can vary by block, tank and day of fermentation. Every ferment is tasted every day to evaluate the evolution of the tannins, modify extraction techniques and find the right moment to drain the wine off of its skins. Aged for 22 months in American and French oak. Frequent airative racking took place during barrel aging to soften tannins and enhance mouthfeel.

Wine Specs:

Alcohol: 14.4% pH: 3.75
Total Acidity: 5.8 grams per liter

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