Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2008
Blend: 77% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah
For thoughts on Chateau Ste Michelle's uniqueness and recent evolution, consult my extensive April, 2013 text designed to introduce recent tasting notes. Black tea, sassafras, cola, and bittersweet floral perfume garland the rich, still freshly juicy cherry of Ste. Michelle’s 2008 Merlot Canoe Ridge Estate, reconvening on a palate that reveals fine-grained tannins, vivacious freshness, yet at the same time dark, savory depth suggesting peat, tobacco, and crushed stone. At 14.5% alcohol, it avoids the slight heat found in its 2009 and 2010 counterparts, and as with most of the Ste Michelle reds, the barrel component (here just over half new) remains appropriately discreet. This finishes with a wonderful combination of mouthwateringly saline savor, nuance, vibrancy, focus, and sheer persistence. A sensational value that has no doubt already picked up complexity in bottle, it ought to reward following for at least another half dozen years. Incidentally, this incorporated as blending components only (but substantially) 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. (When Ste Michelle goes unorthodox, they do so with good reason!)
Supple, ripe and generous, with a black pepper note weaving harmoniously through the focused black cherry and toast flavors that push through fine tannins on the refined finish. Drink now through 2016.
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Chateau Ste. Michelle receives some of the highest accolades in the industry, including "American Winery of the Year" by Wine Enthusiast for 2004 and "2005 Winery of the Year" by... View More