Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris

Three reviews down so far, and all have been about red wine. What can I say? I’m a red wine kinda girl. But tonight, I felt appropriate to do something new, so here I am drinking a white. I grilled up a lemon/rosemary/garlic trout filet, so I really had no other choice but a white. And it so happens to be, Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris is the only white I have down in the soon-to-be cellar. The warmer temps of summertime will change that, I do promise to my white-wine readers.

I’ll state now that I am NOT a big white wine drinker, primarily because I have not put in the time to really study the whites: what is their aroma? What do I taste? How do I tell a good Pinot Grigio? Please take that last question as not rhetorical and fill me in with your favorites and why!! To me, a good white wine has a juiciness that a red just doesn’t have; the floral aromas, pears, apricots, melons, and should be wonderfully refreshing on any nice spring or summer day. I think the first time I truly fell in love, I mean, really fell in love with a white wine was this past April in Napa. Cuvaison Sauvignon Blanc. Oh, it had the crisp, refreshing, light feel that paired so perfectly to the picnic we had that day. The florals, but it’s the grass that I can not seem to find elsewhere that has me hooked. But this blog isn’t supposed to be about California wines (why do I feel like I’ve said this before….?)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris 2009 from the Columbia Valley. My first recommendation on this wine- let it breathe! Right out of the bottle, it is fairly acidic. Granted, standard of a white wine, but this was a bit much. Give it about a half hour or so, and the aromas and flavors really begin to show! On the nose is a cool dryness that is very welcome today, bright florals open the nasal passages well. The sip is light and juicy, pear is detected as an underlying note. This particular Pinot Gris mentions a touch of Viognier to it, and that quite possibly is why I detect more dryness than I recall having from previous bottles.

Chateau St. Michelle 2009 Pinot Gris:  ★★★ (decent wine).

Wine Enthusiast gave this wine an 88 point rating; I’d say this is a fair score. The wine goes for $15 on Chateau Ste. Michelle’s website ( Personally, I think it is a bit high, as I know of a few others priced lower that I do prefer over this one. This being said, I don’t think it’s a bad Pinot, but I don’t anticipate buying this again. But remember, “For every palate there is a wine, and for every wine there is a palate.”

Have you tried this wine before? What are your thought? Please share them in the comments below!


7 responses to “Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris

  1. THANKS for spreading the Washington State wine gospel. Big fan here. I have had many of Ste. Michell’s wine but not this one, will have to check my store’s inventory later today :) I agree with the price point should be a tad lower.
    In reference to your letting it breathe comment I believe in actuality it may be the temperature reduction that brought out its flavors. I see this a lot with white wines that are a tad too cold straight out of the cooler/fridge etc. Looking forward to trying this one.
    Thanks again,

    • Thank you for your support, Ernest! I had to laugh at your blog regarding Grocery Store wines, as they are where I find a majority of the ones I drink (there or World Market). But being in Spokane, while we have several really great wineries, often the grocery store is my best shot for a bottle of wine. That should change as we are getting more wine stores. Anyway, I’m glad to hear you are a fan of WA wines and will continue to look forward to your feedback on my posts, and will continue to enjoy reading yours as well!

  2. Glad to see you’re also writing about whites. I always read that Washington and Oregon rieslings are supposed to be very good. I have not had a chance to try them yet. But will, when I’m in Oregon end of July…

    I am not a pinot grigio fan, all the wines I have tried were way to boring for my taste. They can be decent company for food, but I have yet to find one that can stand on its own.

  3. Next Door to Sonoma

    I agree with whineandcheersforwine. While the general guideline is to serve white wine chilled, this often tempers the flavors and experience. Serving the wine only slightly chilled or at room temperature can bring out different flavors. All wine is unique… The bulk of its appeal, right? :)

    Love your blog!

    • Only because this is the second person to mention the white wine temps, I will state that I do generally prefer the wine to be on the warmer side for the very reason of flavor. However, I can’t say how cold the bottle was when I brought it up, and possibly was cooler than it felt in my hand. But, something I need to remember for my next white review!

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