Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Desert Wine Guy - 2011 Chateau Ste Michell - Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.

   Today I am going to talk about the 2011 Chateau Ste Michell (  Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine sells for $28 and has an Alcohol percentage at 14.5%. You know guys I have to tell you something. I was speaking to a representative from a wine distributor the other day and she almost laughed when I told her my thoughts are on Chateau Ste Michelle wines in general. I found out right then and there that there are a number of people in the wine industry who don't take Chateau Ste Michell seriously and I have no idea why. Well everyone I happen to love a lot of the wine that they put out and today you will be reading a review on a wine that reinforces that belief and perhaps changes or influences yours as well.  So lets go ahead and see what I think of the 2011 Chateau Ste Michell Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. One last thing. Please be aware that there is the Indian Wells vineyard available as well. This is not the wine I reviewed so if you run out and get the wine please ensure it is from the Canoe Ridge Vineyard. This wine was aged for 22 months in 47% new French Oak and 28% new American Oak and is a blend of 95% Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot. the production amount of this wine is just over 10,000 cases.
Chateau Ste Michell

   I want to start off in a weird place for this wine but it is an place that I feel is important in my even looking at a wine. The  place I want to start off is with the label of this wine. In my opinion the way the bottle looks is whether I will even take it seriously. What I mean is I don't want to see a wine with goofy designs or pictures of painting or skeletons on Horses. If you want me to spend $30 as in this case, on a bottle of wine than at least try to convince me that there is a serious wine inside the bottle and you do that by starting off putting a serious label on the bottle and the second thing is put a cork in it. This wine had both. The label of this wine happened to be very professional and classy and I appreciated it.
   Let's begin here with the Bouquet. Here we have a wine here with actually a rather wonderful, full featured bouquet. A bouquet that I was simply floored by. To say that his is a busy bouquet would be an understatement. We are talking about very serious, Dark Plum here . How about some Anise spice in the Bouquet? The Anise spice adds a hint of sort of Licorice to the bouquet which is amazing combined with the next note which is Dark Cherry.  Sometimes when I am relaxing in my loft and enjoying the bouquet of a wine I find it truly amazing how one can smell different aromas in a wine. Think about it. This Bouquet comes from a grape. You and I can take a wine grape and it would not taste like it would when an experienced wine maker gets done with it. Finishing up on the Bouquet now, no one note dominated over the other as can be in some wines although this is not necessarily a bad thing. I think I know now where the word "Heaven" in the Vineyards name cane from.  Lets move to the tasting section now.
Chateau Ste Michelle Tasting Room

   So there I was sitting in my Loft and sipping on this wine, holding it in my mouth and simply enjoying the flavors that it had to show off. While the wine was in my mouth I was thoroughly entranced.  If not for the fact that I had a whole bottle ahead of me I probably would have just sat longer and contemplated life while keeping the wine in my mouth. I truly can't say enough about how this wine impressed my Palette. No note dominated over another and each note was distinct and able to stand on it's own.  To the palette there were numerous notes and they consisted  of Dark Plum, Anise as well as Dark cherry. WOW!!! To say that my mouth was really busy tasting all these different tastes is an understatement. I remember sitting back in my chair saying "cool".  There were also slight notes of Black cherry, Black Pepper,  Cassis and some fairly nice Tannins. With the exception of the Tannins the notes were all in small amounts but they definitely were enough for one to take note of. There was also the Anise spice in here as well which added a Licorice type note as well. What a wonderful wine I was holding in my hand. I have to say that I believe Chateau Ste Michelle has made some pretty nice wine in the last few years. The wine has some nice complexity to it and is not a typical "pool" red that I have review a few times. This wine is meant for a serious Cabernet Sauvignon drinker and one who is use to spending a lot more that $30 on as quality a wine as this one. Well if you are thinking that I am done with how the wine was expressing itself in my mouth you would be wrong.  You want Oak? You got Oak. The wine is on the Oakey side as well, a nice soft Oak that isn't harsh by any means.  To top things off there was even the note of Bing Cherry. Getting back to the Tannins for just a minute, there are more than enough Tannins to keep this wine going for some time so I wouldn't hesitate in picking up a few bottles and putting them away in a cellar for some time.  If you think NOW that we are done with the various notes in this wine you would still be wrong. There was an amazing Green Pepper note present in here as well.  What an exceptional wine.
   On The Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale I very comfortably place this wine at 92 points.
Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard
In my wrap up of this review I wanted to see just how my rating of 92 points held up to the so called "professionals" ratings. What I saw was interesting. Wine Spectator rated this wine at 92 points as well and Wine Enthusiast rated it 91 points.

***I would like to end this review by releasing the new Desert Wine Guy Rating Scale***

                                                                                                                   The Desert Wine Guy

  • Unbelievable   98-100 - Perfect or just about
  • Excellent         90-97 - Wine just blows you away. Just makes you yearn for more.
  • Very Good      86-89 - Has character, is well balanced, & distinctive.
  • Good               83-85 - Drinkable, ordinary, non-distinctive, does not hold to varietal standards
  • Did not like    78-82 - Not recommended

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