Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
Cold Creek Chardonnay is characterized by concentration and intensity from the 45-year-old vines and warmth of the site. This Chardonnay is a decadent style with rich ripe fruit and a toasty character
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.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.