Wine of the Week

Chateau St. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon Canoe Ridge 2013

It seems as though a number of wineries have been, or are about to, celebrate some sort of Anniversary.  Not long ago it was Caymus, then Mondavi and we had the 40th Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris.  Well, another winery comes along that I'm sure you've heard of and probably have, at one time or another, drank their wines.

In 1967 under legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, a new line of premium wines were introduced called Ste. Michelle Vintners.  From that point forward it has been a non-stop love affair with wine up in Washington state.  Numerous wines have gone on to garner high acclaim as well as joining with other illustrious wineries to bring such wines as Col Solare (Antinori Family) and Eroica (Dr Loosen) and Tenet Wines (partnership with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie)

Over the years I have always been impressed with the quality of their wines even though they produce an enormous amount of wine.  I'm sure it's the combination of great agriculture and winemaking that produces so many lovely wines.

I decided it was time to take a look at their wines again.  So off I went in search of a good representation of their work.  Of course, I generally don't set off without a little advance knowledge, so I perused a couple of reviews and found one that looked like a winner.  Rated 93 points by Wine Advocate, the 2013 Canoe Ridge Cabernet was an excellent place to start.  It isn't their least expensive Cab, but I was looking for great quality for the money.  I will say that after drinking the wine, I was right on.

Now mind you, most Washington wines are build differently from their Napa counterparts.  As a slightly cooler climate, Washington wines are a little more juicy with slightly less tannins, opting more for a smooth finish.  (Since there is always a BUT, I will soon review another Washington wine where they have been trying to emulate those Napa Cabs a little more).

Made from 98% Cabernet and 2% Merlot, and aged in 62% new French oak for 22 months, this wine delivers that lush dark red fruit, a slight spice note with an undercurrent of earthiness.  While the tannins are present, they are kept in check allowing the wine to finish on the rounder softer side.  A definite pleaser for those looking for a less tanic but rich full wine.  With a price tag of under $30 in most places ($26.99 where I found it), it might not be a wine for daily consumption but for that nicer weekend diner, it's a must.