Lil’ Bit of Red, Lil’ Bit of White by Chateau St. Michelle

Welcome to mid-August, my fellow wine enthusiasts!! I don’t know what this time of year means to the rest of the country, but here in Spokane, we are winding down summer.  Schools will be starting back up over these coming weeks, the days have already begun to shorten, and the winds are back to signal the coming of the autumn season. It has been a long, hot summer for sure, and  I, personally, am ready to welcome boots and scarves with open arms.  However, I still have one last summer birthday bash to put together, and a bottle of Rosé or two to polish off before the temperatures begin to drop.  But to celebrate the remaining hot days and the increasingly cool nights, I bring you a Merlot and a Sauvignon Blanc by a Washington State icon: Chateau St. Michelle.

Here in Spokane, mid-August is still promising to bring us sweltering hot days, upwards in the 90’s.  Rosé or crisp white wines offer one of the most refreshing escapes for late summer.  I came upon the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc by Chateau St. Michelle, and so now here we are!  On the nose this typically dry white wine opens with a bouquet of crisp pear and sweet honeysuckle flower.  A sip awakens the palate with tart grapefruit, though quickly softened with notes of honeysuckle and citrus blossom.  A light viscosity on the tongue does help to round out the overall experience of this wine.  A value at $11, this Sauvignon Blanc delivered about as I expected it would, and could make for a nice everyday summer white.

Chateau St. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc

Chateau St. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc

Chateau St. Michelle 2011 Sauvignon Blanc:  ★★★☆☆  (good wine)

Winemaker’s Notes: The cooler vintage led to a more herbal style of Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of grass, fresh herbs and grapefruit with a clean, fresh finish. The mostly stainless steel fermentation makes this a crisp wine that would pair well with dishes with cream sauce.

It has been too long since my last review of a Merlot. Now that our nights are cooling off and red wines will be coming back into the picture, my husband and I decided to give the Indian Wells Merlot by Chateau St. Michelle a try.  To best enjoy this wine, we stayed in for the night – cooler than outside – and I whipped up a simple spaghetti dish with a red meat sauce.  On the nose, this 2010 Indian Wells Merlot opens with smoky blueberries and earthy aromas.  Enticing for sure (“smoky” in a Merlot?), but will the palate be as enjoyable?  Earth, ripe berries are on the forefront; herbs and powerful tannins finish out this full-bodied wine.  Not a bad Merlot; It held up well with the meaty red pasta.  The addition of 14% Syrah I do believe added well to the overall feel of the wine. 86% Merlot, 14% Syrah.

Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells 2010 Merlot: ★★★☆☆ (good wine)

CSM Indian Wells Merlot

CSM Indian Wells Merlot


Winemakers Notes: The Indian Wells Merlot offers ripe berry fruit aromas and jammy flavors typical of Wahluke Slope reds. This is a full bodied style of warm climate Merlot with a round, supple finish. We added Wahluke Slope syrah to enhance the mouthfeel and rich fruit character. I call this my pasta wine!

The Sauvignon Blanc retails for around $11. Not a bad price for this wine, as it would make a nice “any day” wine.  The Merlot, though nicely paired with the pasta, I did find to be a bit pricey at $20.  Both wines are widely available at most any grocery store, or by visiting Chateau St. Michelle‘s website.  But remember, For every palate there is a wine, and for every wine there is a palate…

For my next review, I am searching for your feedback! Is there a wine under $20-$25 that you have been wanting to know about? Perhaps a particular varietal or winery that you would like me to review before you buy?  Please let me know!

Have you tried this wine before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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4 responses to “Lil’ Bit of Red, Lil’ Bit of White by Chateau St. Michelle

  1. I’m in TN now but fell in love with WA wines when I lived in Seattle. We don’t get much from WA down here but two of my faves that get national distribution for under $20 are CMS by Hedges Family Estate and Chateau Smith Cab by Charles Smith. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them sometime.

    • Khris: I did a review of I believe the 09 CMS by Hedges last year. Loved it!! But to visit back to the newer vintage may be nice. I’ll look for the Charles Smith wines and see about getting a post on them! They’ll be new to me, and thus a fun wine to try! Thank you!

  2. Just read the CMS review. We’re of the same mind. :) Also I’m glad you reviewed the Maryhill Winemakers Red – another great Washington value wine we can get down here.

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