The Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling 2016 is sourced from contracted growers in the Columbia Valley AVA of Washington State. Chateau Set Michelle is the largest and the oldest (1934) winery in Washington and Riesling is one of their specialties. This Riesling is fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks and intended to be a crisp, fruit-forward, yet well-balanced wine. If you notice, the front label says, “100% Vinifera Rootstock“. There are several species of grapes and most wine grapes fall into the Vitis Vinifera category and the problem with that is the Phylloxera insect likes to attack the roots of Vinifera grapes, killing the entire vine. Phylloxera has wrecked havoc in vineyards around the world, until someone figured out that if you graft Vinifera vines to the rootstock of bug resistant grape species, the pests leave the vines alone. The vines got along well with the rootstock of a different grape species and since this tactic works most of the wine you see on store shelves is from grafted rootstock. In Columbia Valley the conditions are not right for the Phylloxera pests, so vineyards can plant vines using their own natural roots. Chateau Set Michelle says that makes for stronger, better tasting grapes. The alcohol content is 12.5%.
The color is a pale golden-yellow with a slight green tint. The nose is melon, lemon, apple, pear, lime and peach, kind of like walking thru a fruit stand at harvest time. This is a dry White wine with lots of flavor and solid acidity. It tastes of lemon, dried pear, tart apple, and lime. The mid-palate adds peach and unsweetened pineapple. The acidity is balanced, this can be a food wine or makes for an excellent sipping wine. The finish is bold and long.
The Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling 2016 is a very pleasing wine especially since it can be found for under $10 on a regular basis. Riesling is an interesting grape in that it does well both dry and sweet. Sweet Riesling is seen as more of a “beginners” wine in that it is fruit forward and easy to comprehend and dry Riesling is seen as more of a “serious” wine, not that I think it really matters one way or another…drink what you like. And there is much to like about the Chateau Ste Michelle Dry Riesling 2016.