Mission Codename The Big Throwback
Who’s in for a BIG bottle of Cab at about the cost of a little one by the recipient of over 20 “Winery of the Year” awards from Wine & Spirits Magazine? You heard that right Operatives, at 40% OFF these 1.5 Liter beauties UNDER $30 offer out-and-out the finest of Washington State’s prime Columbia Valley Cabernet vineyards in one gorgeous 50th Anniversary bottling, full to the brim with pride and history.
Deep crimson to the core with luminescent purple veins radiating through the light. A generous bouquet of blackberries, red cherries, licorice, violets, and toasty vanilla bring forth the aromatics. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, supple, velvety, open-knit, and generous in personality, it’s surprisingly silky and smooth given the well-extracted tannins. The layered texture concludes chewy, and richly fruity with cassis and black currant. Enjoy this special magnum with friends, family, a lavish cheese and charcuterie platter, or steak with freshly foraged exotic mushrooms.
When Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate proclaims that; “winemaker Bob Bertheau is the driving force behind the incredible quality coming from this estate; impeccably made wines… killer values are the name of the game here.” - We pay attention and bring you this shockingly affordable, ultimately collectible treasure.
Here’s what the wine press has to say on the producer:
Forbes - Amber Gibson, December 17, 2017
Chateau Ste. Michelle Celebrates 50 Years of Washington Wine
When Chateau Ste. Michelle introduced its first vintage – a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Yakima Valley – in 1967, the small winery was Washington’s very first. Fast-forward to today and Washington is the country’s second-largest producer of premium wine behind California with nearly 1,000 wineries across the state. Chateau Ste. Michelle is still the state’s flagship wine and world’s leading Riesling producer; they’ve received “Winery of the Year” honors more than 20 times from Wine & Spirits Magazine.
This year, Chateau Ste. Michelle celebrates its 50th Anniversary in grand style. After a 7 million dollar investment, a new visitor center opened in August, doubling in size and including an 80-seat modern theater with tasting tables plus an interactive blending room where guests can create their custom bottle from the winery’s estate vineyards. There’s a Col Solare Bottega featuring Chateau Ste. Michelle’s partnership with Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori, a private club room and an enoteca representing the global brands in their portfolio including Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Tormaresca, and Tenet, a partnership with Rhône Valley winemakers Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie. The Woodinville winery was built in 1976, just 30 minutes from Seattle, which proved to be an excellent business decision for accessibility to visitors. Over the years, many more wineries have followed suit and there are now more than 100 tasting rooms in Woodinville although Washington’s vineyards are all several hours east. For Chateau Ste. Michelle, all grapes are pressed at the vineyards in Eastern Washington and red wines stay there while fermentation and barrel aging for white wines takes place in Woodinville.
As the dominant winery in the state – approximately half of the state’s 55,000 planted acres of vinifera go into Ste. Michelle Wine Estates wines – Chateau Ste. Michelle embraces the leadership role of championing Washington wines on a global scale. In 2009, their sister winery Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet was named Wine Spectator’s number one wine in the world – the first and only Washington wine to receive this award. “That was a defining moment for us,” CEO Ted Baseler says. “It was a great endorsement for Washington as a region and one of the things we’re most proud of.” It’s certainly not easy balancing size and quality in the most fragmented business category in the world. “There are over 2 million wineries and less than 10% are commercially viable. So you can be a low-end winery and produce boxed wine and makes tens of millions of cases or you have higher quality. But having both quantity and quality is exceedingly difficult.” Baseler has been instrumental in establishing a world-class Enology and Viticulture institution at Washington State University, only the second one of its kind in the United States modeled after the program at UC Davis. Chateau Ste. Michelle raised $23 million for the new science center that opened in 2015 and their scholarship fund has awarded more than 100 scholarships worth $3 million since it began in 2002, supporting high-achieving minority undergraduates studying enology and viticulture at any college or university in Washington. “We want to raise the bar on everyone’s wine quality,” Baseler says…
All signs show that Washington’s wine industry is only going to keep improving. Several new AVAs are being considered this coming year and grape growers have become smarter about where and what to plant as the industry grows. “The future of Washington wine is discovering new subregions,” Bertheau says. “I think some of the best sites might not even be known yet. We’re still learning.”
VinePair - Zach Geballe, March 15, 2019
9 Things You Should Know About Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
Chateau Ste. Michelle is more than just the largest winery in America’s second-largest wine-producing state. In many ways, it has defined and supported Washington State wine over the last 50 years. The label established many of the now-favored growing regions in the state and helped create a national and global market for Washington wine. It wasn’t always such a leader, though. From berry-soaked beginnings to record-setting Rieslings, here are 9 things you should know about Chateau Ste. Michelle:
IT ALL STARTED WITH FRUIT. Pommerelle, one of the forerunners of Chateau Ste. Michelle, got its start in the 1930s by making a variety of fruit wines from Washington-grown blackberries, loganberries, and black currants. It later merged with National Wine Company to become American Wine Growers in 1954, the same year it first released varietal Grenache from Washington.
A NAPA LEGEND HELPED IT FIND ITS FOOTING. After iconic winemaker and consultant André Tchelistcheff retired from Napa’s Beaulieu Vineyards, he found his way to Washington in 1967. Eventually, Tchelistcheff consulted with American Wine Growers on its nascent “Ste. Michelle” wines, and encouraged it to focus on cooler-climate white grapes like Riesling and Gewürztraminer.
JUDGEMENT OF PARIS? TRY THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES. While the 1976 Judgement of Paris put Napa Valley on the map, it was the Los Angeles Times’s 1974 blind tasting of 19 Rieslings from around the world that first showed the world American wineries could compete globally. Ste. Michelle’s 1972 bottling came in first place, at a time when Riesling was easily the most popular variety in America.
CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE IS A TEAM PLAYER. For years, Chateau Ste. Michelle has been bringing some of the world’s best winemakers to Washington State: from the Eroica line of Rieslings made in conjunction with Ernst Loosen of Germany’s Mosel Valley, to Col Solare, a single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon made with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, collaboration is a critical part of the company’s ethos. Recently, it joined forces with Rhône winemaker Michel Gassier to create Tenet Wines, which explores the potential for Syrah and other Rhône varieties in Washington.
IT’S SEEN SOME FAMOUS FACES. The Chateau is a real place, first built in 1976 and massively renovated in 2018. It offers tours and tastings, is home to all the label’s white wine production, and hosts an immensely popular concert series each year. Previous acts have included Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and John Legend, among many others.
BEASTING ON THE RIESLING? YOU HAVE CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE TO THANK. Chateau Ste. Michelle is the single largest producer of Riesling in the whole dang world. Each year, the label makes over 500,000 cases of its Columbia Valley Riesling, which can be found in all 50 states and over 100 countries.
GRAPE DIVERSITY IS VERY MUCH A THING HERE. Reflecting the wide range of growing conditions within Washington State, Chateau Ste. Michelle produces a dizzying array of wines: the aforementioned Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, small lots of Chenin Blanc and Pinot Gris, plus reds made from all the Bordeaux varietals, including Syrah, Grenache, and more.
THE FAMILY IS BIG, AND IT IS TALENTED. Chateau Ste. Michelle has a vast network of former employees who now have their own wineries, a trend that started very early in its history. Iconic Washington wineries like Januik, Betz, Fidelitas, Long Shadows, and dozens more can trace their origins at least in part to Chateau Ste. Michelle.
ITS SCHOOL IS IN SESSION. After many years of funding Washington State University’s enology and viticulture programs, the company debuted the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center in 2015. It has state-of-the-art laboratories for studying wine production and grape growing, providing critical academic support for the state’s wine industry.
What the Winery Says
2015 '50th Anniversary Special' Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon MAGNUM
- Bob Bertheau
- 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 4% Syrah, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot
- Columbia Valley, Washington
- Primarily Cold Creek, Canoe Ridge Estate and Indian Wells
- 5.5 g/L
- 14 months
- 32% new American and French oak