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Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley White Riesling Ice Wine Reserve 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

For the second year in a row, Mother Nature handed the winery the ideal conditions needed to make prized ice wine. (Chateau Ste. Michelle has produced ice wine only three other times in the winery’s history with the 1978, 1995 and 2002 vintages). Having just joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in early 2003 after years of winemaking in California, this was my first time making ice wine. It was an amazing experience to stand in the vineyard in the middle of the night in 14-degree weather picking frozen grapes as hard as marbles. It was like making wine on the dark side of the moon. The result is this exotic, luscious, ultra ripe wine with concentrated aromas and flavors of apricot and honey. The only thing I would do differently next time is wear long johns! The Vineyards All the necessary conditions for ice wine came together during the 2003 harvest – low temperatures below 14° F and ripe, healthy fruit still hanging on the vine. Grapes were harvested from our Horse Heaven Vineyard, located in the Horse Heaven Hills adjacent to the Columbia River in Eastern Washington. Eastern Washington’s climate with its potential temperature extremes is a perfect candidate to produce great ice wine in appropriate years. For the second year in a row ice wine grapes were picked in the pre-dawn hours of Halloween.

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Color: White
Varietal: Riesling
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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 Riesling Columbia Valley White Riesling Ice Wine Reserve

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Snooth User: Finesse8
919483
1.50 5
10/10/2008

One and a half glasses



For the second year in a row, Mother Nature handed the winery the ideal conditions needed to make prized ice wine. (Chateau Ste. Michelle has produced ice wine only three other times in the winery’s history with the 1978, 1995 and 2002 vintages). Having just joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in early 2003 after years of winemaking in California, this was my first time making ice wine. It was an amazing experience to stand in the vineyard in the middle of the night in 14-degree weather picking frozen grapes as hard as marbles. It was like making wine on the dark side of the moon. The result is this exotic, luscious, ultra ripe wine with concentrated aromas and flavors of apricot and honey. The only thing I would do differently next time is wear long johns! The Vineyards All the necessary conditions for ice wine came together during the 2003 harvest – low temperatures below 14° F and ripe, healthy fruit still hanging on the vine. Grapes were harvested from our Horse Heaven Vineyard, located in the Horse Heaven Hills adjacent to the Columbia River in Eastern Washington. Eastern Washington’s climate with its potential temperature extremes is a perfect candidate to produce great ice wine in appropriate years. For the second year in a row ice wine grapes were picked in the pre-dawn hours of Halloween.

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