Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Columbia Valley Ethos Reserve 2009
Grapes were sorted with a new grape receiving system and MOG (materials other than grapes) separation system that gets fruit to the fermenters in a more gentle and pure manner, allowing for better varietal expression and softer mouthfeel. ■ Ripe grapes were destemmed and inoculated with various strains of yeast to maximize complexity. ■ Daily gentle pumpovers were used to extract optimal ﬂ avor 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 ﬁ nd the right moment to drain the wine off of its skins. ■ Aged for 22 months in 30% new French oak, 30% new American oak and 40% neutral oak. ■ Frequent aerative racking took place during barrel aging to soften tannins and enhance mouthfeel.
Food Pairings for Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot Columbia Valley Ethos Reserve
My goal with Ethos wines is to showcase the best of Washington for the varietal and the vintage. This Merlot demonstrates the power and pleasure of Washington Merlot and offers wonderful complexity and rich layers. Half of the fruit came from our Cold Creek vineyard. The 2009 bottling offers cherry and spice ﬂ avors. I like this Merlot with steak, ribs or a leg of lamb.
900 cases produced.
|Alcohol: 14.5%||pH: 3.82|
|Total Acidity: 0.51 grams per liter|
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