Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Review

Quick Review – What a difference a day makes. From day one to day three, the Chateau Ste Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon changes daily. It starts off highly tannic, even resembling a French Merlot in some ways, but with a sweet caramel finish. On day two, it opens up and becomes a bigger tasting cab, though in the process loses a bit of complexity. Great value. 89/100

What does it take to get noticed on wine store shelves these days? New World wineries have increasingly creative names (Sledgehammer, Duxinaro, Educated Guess), and even bolder labels. Amidst all the colorful bottle-art, I spot a bottle sporting the familiar French colorway. It’s even got the word Chateau in the name.

stemichelle01Chateau Ste Michelle came into existance in the 1970s, under the guidance and direction of Andre Tchelistcheff. If you do not know this name, kindly click the link and peruse his Wikipedia entry. He’s the reason you have all the great wines in Napa today.

This bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (Buy Here), grown in the Columbia Valley AVA, spent 16 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. The 85% Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by 6% Syrah and 3% Merlot.

If you’re used to Cabs from California, you’re probably not used to seeing Syrah blended with a Cabernet. The 6% certainly shows up in the peppery notes, especially on the day you uncork the bottle. The tannic, spicy start transitions into a soft, caramel finish.

stemichelle02Left in the bottle, the flavor continues to evolve. On day two, the complexity is gradually lost to the big powerful character of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. The mouth feel is decidedly less tannic.

stemichelle03Day three, if you can let a delicious bottle sit that long, some of the complexity returns. However the flavor is decidedly a West Coast Cab.

So I’m suggesting that you drink this wine on day one, where the wine’s a bit tight and rough, but the transformation with each sip is quite an experience. True, you won’t get to enjoy the smoother, sweeter flavors on day two, but for that you can always get a Napa Cab.


Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Sauvignon Cabernet 2010 (Buy Here)
Score: 89/100
Description: Drink on day one for the best experience, day two for the best taste.
Price: Around $15

4.5 / 5 stars     
About CS Hsia 277 Articles
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