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Tuesday, 06 June 2017 19:59

Wine Pick of the Week

Ch Ste Michelle Dry Riesling bottle Picmonkey

2015 Dry Riesling

 

Chateau Ste Michelle

Columbia Valley

Alcohol: 12.5%

Suggested Retail: $ 10

Saturday, 02 May 2015 11:47

May 1, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Ch Ste Michelle Pinot Gris Picmonkey

2013 Pinot Gris

 

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Columbia Valley (Washington)

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $15

 

“Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio might be called cousins. They’re the same variety of grape, but the clone native to Italy produces a somewhat lighter style of wine than that planted in the Alsace region of northeastern France.

“Americans drink a lot of wine called Pinot Grigio. Much of this Pinot Grigio—whether from Italy or the U.S.--is inexpensive, but it isn’t very good. The popularity of this low-end stuff may be due to the fact that it’s still fairly new in the mind of the consumer. It’s something that isn’t Chardonnay and isn’t Sauvignon Blanc and isn’t Riesling. Cheap Pinot Grigio doesn’t require a consumer to get used to wine with a new flavor because there isn’t much flavor in it. It’s innocuous. Maybe this is its virtue.

“Good Pinot Grigio is a treat, more so is good Pinot Gris (same grape, remember). Fine examples of Pinot Gris from France and Oregon seem to have much more substance than Pinot Grigio and show off the varietal character that makes this grape so appealing. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap. At a suggested retail of $15 (and often found for a bit less), the Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris from Washington’s Columbia Valley seems good value and is an eye-opener to the charms of Pinot Gris. Not as big and full as some, it nevertheless delivers some of the richness of more expensive examples. Aromas of pears, stone fruit and just a little spice are there. Flavors include ripe Bartlett pears and cantaloupe. There is some texture to the taste. In the mouth it doesn’t feel viscous, but maybe a little like a good olive oil. For all its richness, this wine has a crisp finish and will pair very nicely with many foods.”

Food Affinity: “Grilled halibut or sturgeon steaks. Shellfish in cream sauces. Roast pork.”