16
Nov
10

in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day sixty-six (Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007)

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007I accidentally had a sip of the Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 from Columbia Valley, Washington. I had the sip before the ritual. The ritual of waiting. The ritual of letting the wine breathe. The ritual of smelling the nose and letting my imagination wander into some other realm or story making and fantasizing of tastes and emotions and feelings and anticipations. Before the ritual of holding the glass to a white wall to observe the color, and before looking down into the glass for opacity and any wine monsters. Before studying the meniscus.

Before all of that I sipped the wine, and it was lovely. I immediately tasted joy. I tasted the juiciness of the Columbia Valley. I smiled. I was happy. I was prompted to write about it.

The taste has since left my mouth, so I have to go at this ritual backward.

The nose is fruity and of berries, definitely cherries. And there is vanilla and a hint of caramel. It almost smells like a Merlot, and if given to me blind, I’d probably guess Washington Merlot. I guess the Washington terroir that I always taste in its Merlots extends to its Cabernet Sauvignons.

The color is dark purple, but it’s about 80% opaque, which is too thin for a Cab. But that doesn’t matter if it tastes good. It does, however, have the long lingering legs of Cabernet Sauvignon. The meniscus is pretty tall, so it might not be ready for drinking.

To the tasting again.

The first sip was better. This time it’s more sour. I pick up some green apples, too. I like the finish of spicy cherries. I like this wine. I wonder if I like this Cab better than Columbia Crest’s Cab, which is also from Washington? (Not the Columbia Crest that topped the Wine Spectator Top 100. I’m sure that was better. Much better. I wish it hadn’t sold out before they announced it winning. But I’m talking about the other Columbia Crest Cabs.) Anyway. This is a good wine for $12. It’s fickle, but it comes through in the end.

I bet it would go good with plum tomatoes or a dish that included plum tomatoes.

The Wine Spectator gave it 89. Hmm. I don’t know. It’s not quite there for me. It’s a bulging and oozing 88. I’d say 88.9.//


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