Winemaking in Washington isn’t as recent a phenomenon as many people might think. The winemaking history of the state predates American Prohibition and although Washington wasn’t really recognised for making quality wines until the late 1980s, some of its leading wineries have been making good wines from much earlier than that.
One such winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, can trace its roots back 85 years, making it the oldest winery in Washington State. Although the winery has become most known for its dry Riesling, producing more of it than any other North American winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle produces 77 different wines made from more than 20 different grape varieties.
One of its wines, the Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, is made from grapes sourced from a 45-year-old vineyard known for producing powerful and concentrated wines.
Unlike most wines labelled “Cabernet Sauvignon,” Cold Creek is a varietal wine, meaning it isn’t blended with any other grape varieties. Winemakers often blend in small amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Merlot and Petit Verdot into predominant Cabernet Sauvignon wines to help round out the flavours or add aromas or acidity. However, the winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle is so confident in the quality of the grapes in the Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon that he lets the variety shine on its own.
Single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines made from grapes grown on the Cold Creek plot offer flavours of concentrated and rich black fruits, with notes of black cherry and chocolate. The 2015 vintage offers soft tannins that are ready to drink now.
This month, West Indies Wine Company is offering Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon at a price of CI$23.99, a savings of 20 per cent from its normal price.