Chateau Ste. Michelle Red Blend Columbia Valley Orphelin Limited Release 2004

Winemaker's Notes:

Tasting NotesWe grow many different Rhone varieties at our Columbia Valley vineyards, many of which dont have a home when it comes time to blending. These varieties, such as Mourvedre and Grenache, are some of the more interesting varieties winemakers get to work with, and it always seemed a shame to have to blend away these orphans. Orphelin was born by trying to create a true Rhone-style blend from these wines, while showcasing Washingtons true potential for Rhone varieties. The wine bursts with ripe, red fruit and layers of spice and milk chocolate. On the palate, candied cherries and ripe strawberries abound offering an enticing, complex mouthfeel and a smiling finish.Bob Bertheau, Winemaker Vineyards Sourced from vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington state. Columbia Valley vineyards lie in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains and receive just 6-8 inches of rainfall annually. Warm, sunny days and cool evening temperatures create ideal conditions for intense aroma and flavor development in the ripening grapes. Sandy soils with low fertility and low water-holding capacity enable precise control of vine growth.WinemakingRipe grapes were destemmed, crushed and inoculated with various strains of yeast to maximize complexity. Twice daily pumpovers helped extract color and flavor during fermentation. Aged for 20 months in 95% new, French (65%) and American (35%) oak.VintageA hot growing season in 2004 followed by a cool fall created a longer harvest, resulting in wines with ripe, rich flavors. Hot, dry weather from bud break to mid-August prompted the earliest harvest start on record, beginning August 16. Cool temperatures and intermittent light rain in mid-September slowed ripening and extended hang time. Warm temperatures and dry weather resumed in early October through harvests end with final berries being picked in early November.Technical StatsTotal Acidity 0.59 g/100 mlpH 3.69Alcohol 13.8%Blend 39.5% Syrah, 16.5% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 15% Mourvedre, 6% Sangiovese, 3.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Petit Verdot, .5% Souzao, .4% Touriga, .1% Malbec

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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

Member Reviews for Chateau Ste. Michelle Red Blend Columbia Valley Orphelin Limited Release

Add your review
Snooth User: mmc02002
21037639
5.00 5
07/06/2009

My FAV!


Snooth User: Sheekel
8198829
4.00 5
08/02/2008

Tasted at an event in late 2007 and loved it. Bought 6 bottles straight away and later a case. A great wine red wine either alone or with food that goes with a stronger red.


Snooth User: Saluskie
3708529
3.50 5
11/30/2007

Three and a half glasses



Tasting NotesWe grow many different Rhone varieties at our Columbia Valley vineyards, many of which dont have a home when it comes time to blending. These varieties, such as Mourvedre and Grenache, are some of the more interesting varieties winemakers get to work with, and it always seemed a shame to have to blend away these orphans. Orphelin was born by trying to create a true Rhone-style blend from these wines, while showcasing Washingtons true potential for Rhone varieties. The wine bursts with ripe, red fruit and layers of spice and milk chocolate. On the palate, candied cherries and ripe strawberries abound offering an enticing, complex mouthfeel and a smiling finish.Bob Bertheau, Winemaker Vineyards Sourced from vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington state. Columbia Valley vineyards lie in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains and receive just 6-8 inches of rainfall annually. Warm, sunny days and cool evening temperatures create ideal conditions for intense aroma and flavor development in the ripening grapes. Sandy soils with low fertility and low water-holding capacity enable precise control of vine growth.WinemakingRipe grapes were destemmed, crushed and inoculated with various strains of yeast to maximize complexity. Twice daily pumpovers helped extract color and flavor during fermentation. Aged for 20 months in 95% new, French (65%) and American (35%) oak.VintageA hot growing season in 2004 followed by a cool fall created a longer harvest, resulting in wines with ripe, rich flavors. Hot, dry weather from bud break to mid-August prompted the earliest harvest start on record, beginning August 16. Cool temperatures and intermittent light rain in mid-September slowed ripening and extended hang time. Warm temperatures and dry weather resumed in early October through harvests end with final berries being picked in early November.Technical StatsTotal Acidity 0.59 g/100 mlpH 3.69Alcohol 13.8%Blend 39.5% Syrah, 16.5% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 15% Mourvedre, 6% Sangiovese, 3.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Petit Verdot, .5% Souzao, .4% Touriga, .1% Malbec

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