(NM) This blogpost is written in English. Why (?), you might ask. Because these words are dedicated to one of the great winemakers of the United States of America. And he is a American native speaker – obviously.
His name is Bob Bertheau. He is running as „Head Winemaker“ at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington State. We had our first „business meeting“ (although as a wine blogger, my business differenciates pretty much from his) at the ProWein 2017. For sure, I was well aware of the quality output at Chateau Ste. Michelle, but I did not expect such a cool dude as the mastermind behind the largest winery of the whole state of Washington. As a fun fact, Chateau St. Michelles Estate Riesling is by volume the largest Riesling brand in the world! Putting the amount of produced bottles next to the year-in year-out quality of this wine, this is pretty amazing. Speaking of amazing wines. Next to the Chateau Ste. Michelle classics, like the joint venture with Ernie Loosen Riesling „Eroica“, I also tasted Bobs latest outcomes: The Ethos Reserve Cabernet and Chardonnay, two stunning and very elegant wines and the Tenet Wines „The Pundit Syrah“, a crosser between old world and new world Syrah interpretation. These wines really caught my attention. Please check them out here.
But the wine where Bobs eyes sparkled the most, was clearly one of the true (at least for me) cult wines of Washington State. And this moment, where he showed his full passion and commitment to this particular vineyard, to this particular soil, the so called terroir of this place, that was the moment when he really got me. Producing over xx-million bottles a year, but getting so enthusiastic about a single place tells me, that this guy is in the absolute right position. And guess what, it happened that this particular wine is also my favorite out of the collection of Chateau Ste. Michelle wines. It is the 2013 Chateau Ste Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. A true Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon classic.
Okay, let’s break this down. The nose is delivering a lot of depth and complexity. I noticed freshly crushed black pepper, cooling mint/eucalyptus, black cherries, laurel, oriental spicy box, dark gravies and a touch of vanilla. This is one of these wines, where you cannot stop swirling and sniffing and swirling and sniffing and swirling and sniffing. Ok, I think you got it.
On the palate, this is a very complete wine, meaning it covers your mouth with a quite intense, but silky smooth mouthfeel. The tannins are fine and ripe. All components have the right weight and complete each other to a very balanced structure. The fruit is pure and not jammy and gets espoused by the ripe underlining acidity. This Cabernet Sauvignon shines with sheer drinkability and also provides enough structural depth and complex aromas to really dig into it. The 2013 Chateau Ste Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a great example for classic American Cabernet Sauvignon, that do not need the „push“ of a Napa Valley branding. If you don’t mind, drink it now, but you can cellar it for at least 10+ years. A true classic! 94 points in my book and also a great value for the money!
I’m really looking forward to try the latest wines from Chateau Ste Michelle at the ProWein 2018 and meet Bob again for a short gathering. If you are now interested in this wine, you can find it here and here.