In my house, we have a saying that goes something like “Chateau Ste Michelle anything!” Meaning? Meaning that pretty much anything Chateau Ste Michelle puts on the shelves is a cellar keeper for sure (just check out Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Chardonnay – A Cellar Keeper). And that rule certainly applies to their latest release of Pinot Gris. Crisp, refreshing, with a spice kick — you’re going to want to stock up on this beauty for sure.
About the Wine: This is another success from their Columbia Valley vineyards in Washington where warmer days and cooler nights balance the grapes’ maturation and provide gradual, fuller flavor development. However, 2015 was, for them, an unusually dry and warmer year, which actually yielded an earlier harvest than is normal — this may contribute to some of the tartness on the tongue in the flavor profile (not complaining!).
I love when a winery lays very little hands on their wines, allowing for nature to take over and letting us wine-nerds truly enjoy the true essence of the wine. The Chateau Ste Michelle 2015 Columbia Valley Pinot Gris was aged for three months in stainless steel tanks (preserving the natural acidity, fruit, and floral aromas) and then quickly bottled to ensure the natural Pinot Gris flavors met the consumer upon opening.
The wine is made from 100% Pinot Gris grapes from the Columbia Valley in Washington. 13% ABV
Flavor Profile: A soft, pale yellow upon opening, the Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris bursts with aromas of pears, apples, and white flower blossoms. Those aromas hold true on the initial palate as well, but open up beautifully to a bit of softer fruits like melon or cantaloupe. But this wine is not complacent. Those fruits finish with a strong hit of minerality and acidity providing a bit of effervescence and a surprise bit of spice to finish.
“Yay!” That’s all I can say about that long finish that totally tickles my tongue and makes me want another sip (and another and another…)
Food Pairing: The folks at Chateau Ste Michelle include “cream-based” dishes in their recommended food pairing. And I can certainly see how that would work well — the overall freshness of the wine would do well to cut through, say, a risotto, chowder, or creamy pasta.
My recommendation? Be bold and brave like I was and pair this with a spicy dish and enhance that spice kick on the finish. Choose a light, but hearty, protein (I went with halibut), sunk in a spicy (and creamy) coconut-curry broth (I think I need to post this recipe, no?), and let the relief come from a plain side of steamed jasmine rice. I’m telling you…it’s perfection.
More Info: If you haven’t already, please do read my review for the Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Chardonnay. For more information about Chateau Ste Michelle and their large library of wines, visit their official website. Personally, I was able to find the Chateau Ste Michelle 2015 Columbia Valley Pinot Gris at my local Safeway (Sale Price: $10.79 )
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