Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Merlot 2018
This stunning vineyard sits on a south-facing, wind-swept slope high above the Columbia River. The vines are planted in soils of flood deposits that are more than 10,000 years old. This complex and elegant wine has focused flavors and silky elegant tannins.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Despite unreserved oak aromas, this merlot is silky and vinous. Its plum and caramel flavors are mochawarm, lush and inviting, whether on their own or with pork loin. Best buy.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington State’s oldest winery, located in Woodinville, Washington. Celebrating more than 50 years of winemaking, they have combined Old World winemaking traditions with New World innovation. With deep roots, and a history of innovation, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s winemaking philosophy is to highlight the style, quality, and expression of their Washington State vineyards.
Quality is the driving force in everything they do at Chateau Ste. Michelle. The winery has spent decades investing in quality vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley, the finest winemaking equipment, and world-class, top winemaking talent. This commitment to quality has led Chateau Ste. Michelle to earn some of the highest accolades in the industry today.
22 "Winery of the Year" Honors from Wine & Spirits
18 "Top 100" Wines from Wine Spectator
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.