The Grand Entrance
Introduction: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Embarking on a delightful journey of taste and elegance, I introduce the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, a wine that personifies the rich legacy and the meticulous crafting that the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Washington State is renowned for. With over 50 years steeped in winemaking history, this winery continues to celebrate its deep roots and dedication to quality, offering wines that are a symphony of flavors, harmoniously blended to create a masterpiece in every bottle.
The 2019 vintage of their Merlot is a testament to this commitment, providing a wine experience that is both complex and approachable, designed for connoisseurs and casual wine enthusiasts alike. Emanating aromas of black cherry, leather, and spice, this Merlot invites you with its enticing scent, leading to an exploration of its layered dark red fruit flavors, ending with a long, smooth, and sweet finish that lingers pleasantly, beckoning for another sip. A subtle inclusion of Syrah adds a jammy fruit character, rounding off this exquisite wine.
As we delve deeper into the essence of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, prepare to be enchanted by its unique qualities and the stories it whispers from the renowned vineyards of the Columbia Valley. Join us as we uncork the bottle and allow the wine to breathe, releasing its tales of the soil, the vine, and the expert hands that crafted it. Welcome to a narrative of taste, a story told in notes of fruit, spice, and everything nice.
Table of Contents
- Behind the Bottle
- Core Facts
- Vintage Overview
- Winemaker’s Legacy
- Vineyard Insights/Terroir Tales
- Cultural Context/Historical Significance
- Historical Tidbits & Anecdotes
- Wine Awards and Ratings
- Sustainability Practices
- Tasting Notes
- Food Pairings
- Seal & Sentiment
- Serving Tips
- Seasonal Recommendations
- Aging Potential
- Wine Glossary/Terminology Used
- Similar Wines
- Legacy and Future
- Procure Your Pour
- User Reviews/Testimonials
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- The Critic’s Verdict
Unveiling the Star of the Show
Behind the Bottle: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest winery, is the birthplace of the distinguished 2019 Merlot, a wine carefully crafted to present a delightful complexity while remaining approachable to various palates. Nestled in Woodinville, Washington, the chateau is a testament to over five decades of winemaking, combining Old World traditions with New World innovation.
Crafting the 2019 Vintage
2019 was a year that brought optimal conditions for grape growing in the Columbia Valley, with its diverse topography and rich terroir. These conditions allowed the Merlot grapes to develop the nuanced flavors and aromas that are characteristic of this illustrious region. The winemakers meticulously selected black cherries, leather, and spice notes to craft a wine that offers layers of rich dark red fruit flavors. With a touch of Syrah, the wine embodies a jammy fruit character, culminating in a long, smooth, and sweet finish.
The Chateau’s Legacy
The chateau itself is deeply rooted in history, with its foundation laid in 1912 on an estate owned by Seattle lumber baron Frederick Stimson. Through the years, the chateau has witnessed the evolution of winemaking, with legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff introducing a new line of premium vinifera wines named Ste. Michelle Vintners in 1967. The name eventually evolved, and the chateau transformed into the iconic winemaking institution it is today.
A Commitment to Quality
Quality drives every process at Chateau Ste. Michelle, from vineyard cultivation to the winemaking process itself. The commitment to producing top-tier wines has garnered the chateau numerous accolades, including 22 “Winery of the Year” honors from Wine & Spirits magazine and recognition for 18 “Top 100” wines by Wine Spectator. The 2019 Merlot is a testament to this relentless pursuit of excellence, providing wine enthusiasts with a taste of the chateau’s storied legacy and dedication to the craft.
An Invitation to Taste
As you explore the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, you’re not just savoring a finely crafted wine; you’re experiencing a piece of Washington State’s winemaking history. Each sip offers a glimpse behind the bottle, revealing the careful cultivation, expert crafting, and deep passion that have defined Chateau Ste. Michelle for over 50 years. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a casual wine lover, this Merlot invites you to taste the legacy and tradition encapsulated in every bottle.
Core Facts: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
- The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is described as complex yet approachable.
- The wine presents with inviting aromas of black cherry, leather, and spice.
- It possesses layers of dark red fruit flavors, creating a rich palate experience.
- There’s a long, smooth, and sweet finish to this Merlot, making it pleasing to various palates.
- A touch of Syrah is added to infuse the wine with a jammy fruit character.
Vineyard & Terroir:
- The grapes are sourced from the Columbia Valley AVA, a region known for its diverse topography and rich terroir, providing an ideal environment for cultivating Merlot grapes.
- The valley is home to a multitude of vineyards, with a small section extending into northern Oregon.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington State, with over 50 years of winemaking history.
- Located in Woodinville, Washington, the winery combines traditional Old World winemaking practices with New World innovations.
- It has received numerous accolades, including 22 “Winery of the Year” honors from Wine & Spirits magazine and recognition for 18 “Top 100” wines by Wine Spectator.
- We recommend pairing this Merlot with oven-baked Porchetta or steak, as its flavors of blackcurrants and oak complement mildly seasoned meats well.
Availability & Price:
- The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is available for purchase at various wine retailers and through the winery’s official website.
- The price range is $15 – $20
- The wine has received positive reviews for its appealing and drinkable profile, with lovely aromas and flavors that make it suitable for enjoyment on various occasions.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a finely crafted wine that showcases the elegance and complexity of Washington State Merlots. Its rich flavor profile, combined with a history of quality and acclaim, makes it a desirable choice for wine enthusiasts looking for a delightful and versatile red wine. Whether enjoyed alone or paired with a meal, this Merlot promises a tasteful experience reflective of its storied origins.
Oh, the Difference a Year can Make
Vintage Overview: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 vintage for the Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot was characterized by a harmonious balance of conditions that favored the production of high-quality Merlot grapes in Washington State’s Columbia Valley AVA.
- The 2019 growing season experienced a steady, moderate climate, with no extreme weather events, providing a calm and conducive environment for the vines.
- Spring ushered in with adequate rainfall, ensuring the soil had sufficient moisture content to support the vines during the budding and flowering stages.
- Summer brought warm temperatures but not excessively hot, allowing for the gradual and even ripening of the grapes. This climate condition helped in developing the grapes’ flavors and maintaining their natural acidity.
- The harvesting of the Merlot grapes in 2019 was carried out at optimal maturity levels. The moderate temperatures extended into the fall, providing winemakers with the luxury of picking the grapes at the precise moment when they reached peak ripeness and flavor concentration.
- The resultant grapes were healthy, with a good balance of sugars and acidity, and showcased the varietal characteristics of Merlot prominently.
- The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is crafted to be complex yet approachable. With a commitment to expressing the unique terroir of the Columbia Valley, meticulous attention was paid to the winemaking process.
- The wine underwent fermentation and aging in a controlled environment, with the winemakers vigilantly monitoring its development to ensure it achieved the desired flavor profile and structure.
- A touch of Syrah was added to the Merlot, introducing an element of jammy fruit character to the wine, enhancing its appeal and drinkability.
The 2019 vintage for Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot stands out for its favorable growing season and the meticulous approach to winemaking that brought out the best in the grapes. The result is a wine that is not only pleasurable to drink but also reflective of the high-quality Merlot grapes grown in the Columbia Valley. Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual wine drinker, the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot offers an engaging and delightful drinking experience.
The Wizards of the Wine
Winemaker’s Legacy: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Brian Mackey: Crafting Excellence
Brian Mackey, the Head Red Winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, is a winemaking virtuoso whose journey and dedication have significantly shaped the legacy of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot.
Early Passion Rekindled:
Mackey’s initial exposure to winemaking started with visits to his grandparents’ home in Napa Valley and working at a Washington winery during high school summers. Though his career path initially diverged, a honeymoon in the Southern Rhone Valley rekindled his passion for winemaking.
Returning with renewed vigor, Mackey joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2011 as an intern. His talent and dedication did not go unnoticed, propelling him through the ranks to oversee all red winemaking.
With every step, his commitment to crafting wines that are not only exceptional but also embody the essence of Washington’s unique terroir has been evident.
A Unique Philosophy:
Mackey views Washington as a winemaker’s dream due to its stable, world-class vineyards and the potential for innovation. He and his team continually explore diverse grape varieties, new growing regions, and sustainable practices.
“Winemaking is invigorating! It involves farming, science, art, and logistics but it also requires passion, drive, and collaboration,” remarks Mackey. His philosophy integrates various aspects of winemaking, ensuring each bottle encapsulates a story, a history, and the passion poured into its creation.
Crafting the 2019 Merlot:
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a testament to Mackey’s devotion and skill. This vintage is approachable yet complex, offering aromas of black cherry, leather, and spice, unfolding into layers of rich, dark red fruit flavors with a long, smooth, and sweet finish.
A touch of Syrah, carefully selected and blended, adds a delightful jammy fruit character, making this wine a reflection of Mackey’s meticulous approach and the unique traits of Washington’s vineyards.
Brian Mackey’s journey, from a young enthusiast to the Head Red Winemaker, mirrors the wine he crafts—rich, complex, and full of character. The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is not just a bottle of wine; it’s a chapter in the winery’s story, a tale of passion, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of quality, with Mackey at the narrative’s heart. Each sip is a celebration of his legacy, the vineyards’ bounty, and the timeless allure of Washington wine.
The Ground Game: Roots and Routes
Vineyard Insights/Terroir Tales: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The Columbia Valley: A Tapestry of Terroir
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot finds its origins in the fertile soils of the acclaimed Columbia Valley AVA, a canvas of diverse topography and a mosaic of terroirs crafting distinct wines.
Encompassing 99% of Washington State’s vineyards, the Columbia Valley is a expansive AVA with a myriad of microclimates, offering an array of conditions for cultivating various grape types.
Its climate leans towards the cool side, with mild winters and long, hot, and arid summers, providing an ideal setting for Merlot grapes to ripen to perfection.
The Soils Speak:
The valley boasts a unique soil profile, with old volcanic and sedimentary seabed overlaid with a mix of gravel, silt, rock, and boulders, contributing to the region’s diverse terroir.
The presence of more than 100 different soil types within the valley imparts a distinctive character to the grapes, affecting the flavors and qualities of the wines produced.
The Land’s Legacy in a Bottle:
Each bottle of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a liquid narrative of the Columbia Valley’s terroir. From its complex soil structures to its various microclimates, every element of the land contributes to the creation of a wine that is as intricate and captivating as the valley itself. The wine is not merely a product; it is a tale of the soil, the climate, and the steadfast commitment to sustainability and quality that defines Chateau Ste. Michelle’s approach to winemaking.
Cultural Context/Historical Significance: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
A Historical Vignette:
Chateau Ste. Michelle, the birthplace of the 2019 Merlot, is Washington State’s oldest winery, weaving a tapestry of tradition and innovation for over 50 years. With a legacy built upon the Repeal of Prohibition, the winery has long been at the forefront of the American winemaking scene.
Ste. Michelle’s Winemaking Odyssey:
The winery was established in the historic estate of Seattle lumber baron Frederick Stimson in 1912, laying its deep roots in the fertile grounds of Washington’s wine country.
The introduction of Ste. Michelle Vintners in 1967, under the visionary guidance of the esteemed winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, marked a new era of premium vinifera wines that would embody the Old World winemaking traditions with a dash of New World innovation.
The Chateau’s Contributions:
Over the decades, Chateau Ste. Michelle has garnered recognition and respect for its commitment to quality and its consistent production of award-winning wines.
With 22 “Winery of the Year” honors and 18 “Top 100” Wines accolades, the winery has etched its name as a cornerstone of quality and excellence in the global wine landscape.
2019 Merlot: A Reflection of Heritage
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a synthesis of history and quality that defines the winery. Its composition reflects the decades of expertise and the winery’s dedication to producing approachable, yet complex wines.
Each bottle is not just a delightful beverage but also a nod to the winery’s storied past, a reflection of the Columbia Valley’s abundant gifts, and a testament to the relentless pursuit of winemaking perfection that has been the hallmark of Chateau Ste. Michelle.
A Sip of Tradition:
With every sip of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, one engages with a narrative steeped in tradition, excellence, and the vibrant history of Washington’s wine-making legacy. The wine is not only a celebration of the varietal but also a homage to the rich cultural tapestry and historical significance that the iconic Chateau Ste. Michelle brings to the table.
Sips & Giggles
Historical Tidbits & Anecdotes: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The Birth of a Legacy:
- 1967: In the spirited atmosphere post-Prohibition, Ste. Michelle Vintners emerged, unveiling a line of premium vinifera wines under the expertise of legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff.
- 1972: The plantings at the iconic Cold Creek Vineyard began, marking a significant milestone in the winery’s commitment to quality and excellence in viticulture.
- 1976: The construction of a distinct French-style Chateau in Woodinville signaled not just a physical transformation but also a rebranding from Ste. Michelle Vintners to Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Expansion and Recognition:
- 1991: With the establishment of Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard, the winery continued to expand its vineyard holdings, ensuring a steady supply of high-quality grapes.
- The winery has accumulated various accolades over the years, including being named the “United States Wine Producer of the Year” in 2012 and consistently being ranked as one of the world’s most admired wine brands.
2019 Vintage Context:
- The 2019 vintage, from which the Merlot is born, enjoyed favorable conditions that led to the development of rich, nuanced flavors in the grapes. The Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot of this year is a celebration of the winery’s continual efforts to produce wines that reflect the terroir’s uniqueness and their winemaking philosophy.
Savoring History in Every Drop:
When you uncork a bottle of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, you are not merely opening a wine; you are unveiling stories, historical tidbits, and anecdotes that make every sip a journey through time, tradition, and the tireless pursuit of winemaking excellence.
Wine Awards and Ratings: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot has garnered appreciation and acknowledgment for its delightful complexity and approachability.
- General Praise: Critics have celebrated this Merlot for its enticing blend of black cherry, leather, and spice aromas. Its rich, dark red fruit flavors on the palate, accompanied by a smooth, sweet finish, make it a universally appealing wine.
- Expert Commentary: Noted for its drinkability, this Merlot exhibits delightful aromas and flavors of blackcurrants with subtle oak notes, making it a perfect companion for various dishes, including seasoned oven-baked Porchetta.
- Distinguished Attributes: With its generous dark plummy fruit and coffee’d oak frame, this Merlot exudes a pleasing austerity backed by firm dried-berry depths. Critics recommend pairing it with steak to enhance its flavors and overall dining experience.
Awards and Recognitions:
- While specific awards for the 2019 vintage may still be forthcoming, Chateau Ste. Michelle as a winery has garnered significant accolades that reflect its commitment to quality and excellence. The winery has received 22 “Winery of the Year” honors from Wine & Spirits and had 18 of its wines featured in Wine Spectator’s “Top 100” list over the years.
Chateau’s Legacy of Excellence:
- The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot benefits from the winery’s longstanding tradition of crafting exceptional wines. With its wines regularly receiving high ratings and positive reviews, Chateau Ste. Michelle has established itself as a leading producer of fine wines in the United States and across the globe.
Buyer and Consumer Reviews:
- Consumers and wine enthusiasts who have tasted the 2019 Merlot often praise its value for money, approachable profile, and representation of Oregon’s terroir. It is often described as a nice everyday wine, with notes of vanilla, cranberries, earth, clay, and raspberry, capturing the essence of the region’s distinctive character.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot stands as a testament to the winery’s dedication to producing wines of remarkable quality and character. While specific awards for this particular vintage may still be in the pipeline, the critical acclaim and positive reception it has received from wine experts and consumers alike speak volumes about its allure and potential to secure notable recognitions in the future.
Sustainability Practices: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Chateau Ste. Michelle, the producer of the 2019 Merlot, is deeply committed to sustainability, integrating environmentally conscious practices throughout its vineyards and winemaking process. Below are the key sustainability efforts associated with the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot:
- Sustainable WA Certification: Both Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards received the Sustainable WA certification as of February 2023. This certification highlights the winery’s commitment to implementing best practices in sustainable viticulture in Washington, signifying a dedication to quality fruit, environmental stewardship, and the wellbeing of local communities.
- Energy Consumption Reduction: The winery has implemented practices to reduce energy consumption actively. This effort not only lowers the environmental impact but also contributes to the production of a more sustainable and eco-friendly Merlot.
- Water Conservation: Through innovative water management practices, Chateau Ste. Michelle aims to use water resources efficiently, which is crucial in the arid regions where their grapes are grown.
- Solid Waste Management: The winery has a robust recycling program, managing solid waste effectively by recycling materials like glass, paper, cardboard, pallets, and even cell phones and batteries.
- Soil Health: Committed to improving soil health, the winery minimizes chemical inputs and creates a thriving ecosystem, providing a solid foundation for vine growth and grape development.
- Pest Management: The winery employs sustainable pest management practices to protect the vines while minimizing the impact on the environment and surrounding biodiversity.
- The Sustainable WA certification requires adherence to both social and environmental indicators. Chateau Ste. Michelle takes seriously its responsibility towards its workers, ensuring workplace policies support worker wellbeing and implementing best practices in human resources and risk management.
Commitment to the Land:
- Chateau Ste. Michelle is devoted to the land it cultivates, employing practices that ensure not just the production of quality grapes but also the long-term health and vitality of the vineyards and surrounding ecosystems.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is not just a product of quality winemaking but also of sustainable and responsible practices that reflect the winery’s commitment to the environment and its community. These practices contribute to the wine’s unique character, making each bottle a celebration of both quality and sustainability. For consumers who value environmentally conscious products, this Merlot is not only a delightful indulgence but also a choice they can feel good about making.
The Flavor Frontier
Tasting Notes: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot presents with a deep and inviting color, demonstrating a rich, dark red hue that is characteristic of a well-crafted Merlot. Its vibrant appearance in the glass is a visual prelude to the complex and delightful tasting experience that awaits.
On the nose, this Merlot captivates with an enticing bouquet of aromas:
- Black Cherry: Dominant notes of black cherry create a juicy and mouthwatering anticipation.
- Leather: There’s a subtle and sophisticated hint of leather that provides a layer of complexity.
- Spice: Gentle whispers of spice are woven through the aromatic profile, adding warmth and intrigue.
The palate is greeted with a chorus of flavors that echo the promises made by the wine’s aromatic profile:
- Dark Red Fruit: A layer of rich dark red fruit flavors provides a luscious and satisfying taste experience.
- Blackcurrants: There’s a noticeable presence of blackcurrants, contributing to the wine’s jammy and fruity character.
- Oakiness: A touch of oakiness frames the fruit flavors, adding structure and a slight vanilla undertone.
The wine concludes with a long, smooth, and sweet finish, where the symphony of flavors continues to unfold and linger. The finish is characterized by its length and the way the sweet and fruity notes gently fade, leaving the palate with a pleasant and memorable aftertaste.
With a texture that is smooth yet structured, this Merlot is approachable but also offers depth. The tannins are soft and silky, supporting the wine’s framework without overpowering its delicate nuances.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a harmonious blend of complexity and approachability. With its delightful aromas, abundant flavors, and smooth finish, it’s a wine that can be appreciated by both novice wine drinkers and seasoned connoisseurs alike. Each sip invites another, making it a delightful companion for a variety of occasions and pairings.
The Bottle Meets the Menu
Food Pairings: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a versatile wine, making it an excellent pairing partner for various dishes due to its complexity, juicy fruit character, and smooth finish. Below are some recommended pairings that will complement and enhance the rich flavors of this delightful Merlot:
- Porchetta: The wine’s blackcurrant notes and touch of oakiness harmonize with the richness of mildly-seasoned, oven-baked Porchetta, enhancing its flavors while balancing the fat content.
- Grilled Steak: Its robust character stands up well against the savory flavors of grilled or pan-seared steaks, making it an excellent choice for beef dishes.
- Lamb Chops: The wine’s dark fruit flavors and subtle spices pair wonderfully with the unique taste of lamb.
Poultry and Pork:
- Roast Chicken: Opt for herbs and garlic marinated roast chicken to create a delightful synergy with the wine’s cherry and spice notes.
- Pork Tenderloin: A herbed or slightly spiced pork tenderloin will be elevated when paired with this Merlot.
- Aged Cheeses: Consider pairing with aged cheddars, gouda, or gruyere which will complement the wine’s structured tannins and dark fruit flavors.
- Blue Cheese: The creaminess of blue cheeses contrasts beautifully with the wine’s acidity and tannic structure.
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: The earthy flavors of mushrooms resonate with the wine’s leather and spice notes.
- Eggplant Parmesan: The tomato-based sauce and melted cheese in this dish will harmonize with the wine’s acidity and fruitiness.
- Pasta with Tomato-Based Sauces: The acidity in tomato sauces balances the wine’s sweetness, creating a delightful dining experience.
- Lasagna: The layers of cheese, meat, and sauce in a classic lasagna pair wonderfully, making it a comforting and indulgent choice.
Desserts (For Those Who Dare):
- Dark Chocolate: Opt for a dessert that incorporates dark chocolate, as its bitterness and cocoa flavors will create a beautiful contrast and balance with the wine’s sweet finish and cherry notes.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is not only a pleasure to sip on its own but also a fantastic companion to a wide range of dishes. Its versatility makes it suitable for various culinary adventures, from casual dinners to special celebrations.
Old School Bravado / New School Innovation
Seal & Sentiment: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is adorned with the reputable and iconic Chateau Ste. Michelle seal, which is synonymous with quality and heritage. This seal is not merely a stamp; it’s a commitment and guarantee of the superior craftsmanship and dedication invested in every bottle produced by Washington State’s oldest winery.
The regal appearance of the seal, coupled with the elegant design of the label, encapsulates the rich history and tradition of Chateau Ste. Michelle, providing consumers with confidence in the product’s premium quality. This is a wine that doesn’t just speak through its palate but also through the presentation and the promise encapsulated in its seal.
“With a glass of 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot in hand, you’re not just enjoying a sophisticated, nuanced, and approachable red wine; you’re embracing a sip of Washington State’s illustrious wine heritage. From the carefully selected grapes to the meticulous winemaking process, each bottle encapsulates a legacy of excellence and a celebration of the vivacious spirit of the Columbia Valley. Here’s to moments of joy, laughter, and sublime satisfaction, all bottled up in a beacon of tradition and quality. Cheers to the art of winemaking, cheers to you!”
Why Choose This Wine?
- History & Quality: The seal represents more than 50 years of winemaking history, commitment to quality, and innovation that Chateau Ste. Michelle embodies.
- Aesthetic Appeal: The bottle, with its distinctive label and seal, is designed to be a visual delight, making it a perfect gift or a centerpiece at your dinner table.
- Trust & Assurance: When you see the Chateau Ste. Michelle seal, you can trust that the wine within is a masterpiece crafted with care and passion.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot offers not just a delightful sensory experience but also a connection to a legacy that has been nurtured with dedication and love for the vine and the wine. Whether it’s a gift, a personal indulgence, or a shared bottle amongst friends, the wine, with its prestigious seal, is sure to leave a lasting impression and contribute to memories that are just as enduring as the winery’s storied history.
The Art of Pourfection
Serving Tips: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
To enjoy the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot at its best, consider these serving tips:
- Red Wine Serving Temperature: Ideally, serve this Merlot between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 18 degrees Celsius). This temperature range allows the wine’s complex aromas and flavors to shine without being overshadowed by the alcohol.
- Optional Decanting: Given its approachable and soft nature, this Merlot does not strictly require decanting. However, allowing it to breathe for about 30 minutes can enhance the wine’s aromatic profile and soften the tannins further.
- Use Large, Bowl-Shaped Glasses: Opt for glasses with a larger bowl, which gives the wine’s aromas more room to collect and be appreciated. This is particularly important for a wine with a bouquet as nuanced and layered as this Merlot.
- Versatile Pairing Options: While serving, consider the food pairings. Given its flavors of black cherry, leather, and a hint of spice, this Merlot pairs beautifully with red meats, particularly dishes that aren’t overly spicy. It is also versatile enough to be enjoyed with various cheeses and pasta dishes.
- Storing Open Bottles: If you don’t finish the bottle, re-cork it tightly. Store the opened bottle in a cooler environment, preferably a wine refrigerator, and consume it within 3–5 days for optimal quality.
Serving wine is an art, and with a few thoughtful considerations, you can elevate the experience of enjoying the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot. These tips are designed to help you savor every sip, celebrating the wine’s intricate flavors, delightful aromas, and the meticulous craftsmanship that brought it to life.
Seasons of Wine: When to Uncork
Seasonal Recommendations: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed year-round, with certain seasons accentuating its unique characteristics and making it particularly enjoyable when paired with seasonal dishes.
- Outdoor Gatherings: The weather starts to warm, making it ideal for outdoor gatherings and picnics. The wine’s approachability and soft tannins make it a crowd-pleaser.
- Pairings: Pair this Merlot with light appetizers, spring salads with balsamic dressing, and dishes featuring fresh herbs and spring vegetables.
- Grilling Season: The wine’s notes of black cherry and subtle oakiness complement grilled meats wonderfully, making it an excellent choice for barbecues and summer cookouts.
- Chilled Slightly: Serve the wine slightly chilled to refresh and enhance its fruitiness during hot summer days.
- Harvest Celebrations: With the arrival of the harvest season, this Merlot pairs wonderfully with hearty dishes featuring seasonal vegetables and mushrooms.
- Thanksgiving: Its balanced acidity and fruit-forward character make it a fantastic option for the diverse flavors found on a Thanksgiving table.
- Holiday Festivities: The wine’s comforting and rich dark fruit flavors make it a cozy and festive choice for holiday celebrations.
- Pairings: Consider pairing this Merlot with roasted or braised meats, stews, and dishes that feature winter spices and herbs.
- Versatility: The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is versatile, making it suitable for various occasions and dishes throughout the year.
- Gift Option: Its universal appeal and attractive packaging make it a thoughtful gift for wine enthusiasts during any season.
Whether you’re celebrating the arrival of spring, enjoying a sunlit summer evening, gathering for a Thanksgiving feast, or toasting to the new year, the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot offers something delightful for every season and occasion. Adjust the pairings and serving temperature slightly to suit the time of year, and this wine will undoubtedly shine.
Time in a Bottle
Aging Potential: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is a wine crafted with immediate enjoyment in mind but also possesses qualities that allow it to age gracefully in the bottle. Below is an overview of its aging potential:
Short-Term Aging (1-3 Years):
- Current Qualities: Presently, the wine showcases a harmonious blend of fruit-forward characteristics, with prominent notes of black cherry, leather, and spice. The touch of Syrah adds a jammy fruit character.
- Enjoyment: With short-term aging, you’ll experience the vibrancy of its fruit flavors, balanced acidity, and smooth, sweet finish, making it ideal for those who appreciate a more youthful and dynamic profile.
Mid-Term Aging (4-6 Years):
- Development: With a few more years in the bottle, the wine’s tannins will soften further, and its fruit flavors may develop additional complexity and depth. The spicy and leather notes might become more pronounced, contributing to a more intricate tasting experience.
- Pairing: Its evolving profile during this period makes it versatile for pairing with a broader range of dishes, from grilled meats to more refined and savory dishes.
Long-Term Aging (7-10 Years):
- Maturity: Beyond seven years, the wine will reach a mature stage where its flavors have melded seamlessly, and secondary aromas and flavors, like earth, tobacco, and perhaps coffee, may start to emerge.
- Considerations: While it is possible to age this Merlot for up to a decade, it’s crucial to store the wine under optimal conditions to preserve its integrity and prevent spoilage.
- Temperature: Consistently cool temperatures (around 55°F or 13°C) are crucial. Avoid areas where the temperature fluctuates.
- Humidity: Maintain a humidity level of about 70% to prevent the cork from drying out.
- Position: Store the bottles on their sides to keep the cork moist.
- Environment: Choose a location free from vibrations and strong odors.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot offers delightful drinking now but has the structure and balance to age elegantly for those who prefer the subtlety and complexity that comes with time. Whether you choose to enjoy it in its youth or allow it to evolve in the bottle, this Merlot promises a rewarding experience for the palate.
Wine Glossary/Terminology Used: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
- Terroir: The unique combination of geographical factors, including soil, climate, and altitude in the Columbia Valley, that influences the flavor and aroma profiles of the wine.
- Tannins: Compounds present in grape skins, seeds, and stems, giving the wine its structure and aging potential. Tannins in this Merlot provide a sense of dryness and complexity to the palate.
- Finish: The aftertaste that lingers after swallowing. The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot boasts a long, smooth, and sweet finish, leaving a lasting impression on the palate.
- Syrah Touch: The inclusion of Syrah grapes in the Merlot adds a distinctive, jammy fruit character to the wine, enhancing its flavor profile.
- Leather Notes: A term used to describe the aroma and flavor in the wine that resembles the smell of leather, adding complexity and depth to the profile.
- Black Cherry: A predominant aroma and flavor note in the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, contributing to its fruity and rich taste.
- Austerity: This term refers to the wine’s restrained and elegant style, often noted in wines that are well-balanced and not overly fruity or sweet.
- Oakiness: The flavor and aroma derived from the oak barrels used in the aging process, imparting notes like vanilla, toast, or smoke to the wine.
- Dark Red Fruit Flavors: Refers to the taste of fruits like plum, blackcurrant, and cherry that are prominent in the wine, providing depth and richness.
- AVA (American Viticultural Area): The Columbia Valley is an acknowledged AVA, a designated wine grape-growing region distinguished by its unique environmental characteristics.
- Plummy: A descriptor for wines that have a predominant flavor and aroma of plums, often associated with red wines like Merlot.
- Vintage: Refers to the year the grapes were harvested, which is 2019 for this particular bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot.
- Varietal: The specific type of grape used to make the wine. In this case, the primary varietal is Merlot, with a touch of Syrah added for character.
- Jammy: Describes the rich, fruity flavor often found in wines made from very ripe grapes. The term is used to describe the touch of Syrah in this Merlot.
Similar Wines: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Discover wines that are comparable to the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, offering similar profiles and price points for wine enthusiasts to explore and enjoy:
2018 Hogue Cellars Merlot – Columbia Valley:
- Profile: With inviting aromas of blackberry and a plush palate, this wine is well-structured with fine tannins and subtle notes of chocolate and spice.
- Price Range: $12 – $15
2019 14 Hands Winery Merlot – Washington:
- Profile: This Merlot showcases aromas of dark stone fruits and cherries with subtle notes of herbs. On the palate, flavors of plum and spice are complemented by soft, polished tannins.
- Price Range: $12 – $14
2017 Waterbrook Merlot – Columbia Valley:
- Profile: It offers classic Washington Merlot flavors of blackberry, marionberry and spice with a touch of toast. It’s round and delightful with moderate tannins.
- Price Range: $14 – $18
2018 Columbia Crest H3 Merlot – Horse Heaven Hills:
- Profile: This wine brings up-front aromas of raspberries and chocolate with hints of coffee and toasty oak, the palate is filled with cherry flavors wrapped in fine tannins.
- Price Range: $13 – $16
2018 Red Diamond Merlot – Washington:
- Profile: Exhibits aromas of dark cherry and berry with soft spice notes, while the palate is layered with blackberries, Bing cherries, and a hint of mocha.
- Price Range: $8 – $11
2019 Seven Falls Merlot – Wahluke Slope:
- Profile: Focused and richly styled, with spicy blackberry aromas and layered dark plum, licorice and brown sugar flavors that finish with refined tannins.
- Price Range: $15 – $20
Tips for Exploring Similar Wines:
- Tasting Side-by-Side: Purchase a few different Merlots and conduct a side-by-side tasting to better understand the nuances and variations between them.
- Consult Wine Sellers: Seek advice from knowledgeable wine sellers who can offer additional recommendations based on your taste preferences.
- Read Reviews: Online wine platforms and publications can provide expert reviews and consumer ratings that guide your selection of similar wines.
Each of these alternatives offers a distinct expression of the Merlot grape, highlighting the diversity and richness found within the Washington wine region. Whether you are hosting a gathering or enjoying a quiet evening, these wines provide quality and value at a comparable price point to the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot.
The Grape Beyond
Legacy and Future: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Chateau Ste. Michelle, with its deep historical roots, has forged a legacy of excellence in winemaking. The 2019 Merlot continues to uphold this storied heritage:
- Historic Foundations: Established as Washington State’s oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle has been crafting premium wines for over half a century, merging Old World winemaking traditions with New World innovation.
- Expertise: The winery boasts a skilled team dedicated to producing wines of elegance and balance, with the 2019 Merlot being no exception.
- Accolades: With numerous accolades and honors under its belt, including 22 “Winery of the Year” recognitions from Wine & Spirits and 18 “Top 100” Wines from Wine Spectator, the winery’s commitment to quality is evident.
- Distinctive Merlots: The 2019 Merlot reflects the winery’s expertise in creating Merlots that are not only complex and approachable but also capture the unique terroir of the Columbia Valley.
Looking ahead, Chateau Ste. Michelle and its Merlot offerings anticipate a future marked by growth and continued excellence:
- Innovation: The winery is set to continue exploring innovative winemaking techniques and practices, pushing the boundaries of quality and expression in their wines.
- Sustainable Practices: With a firm commitment to sustainability, future vintages will likely further embrace environmentally friendly practices, both in the vineyard and the winery.
- Global Recognition: As the demand for high-quality Washington wines grows internationally, the winery’s Merlot, including the celebrated 2019 vintage, is expected to garner increased global recognition and distribution.
- Diverse Portfolio: With a keen eye on consumer trends and preferences, Chateau Ste. Michelle will continue to expand and diversify its portfolio, possibly introducing new expressions of Merlot and other varietals to delight wine enthusiasts worldwide.
- Educational Initiatives: Engaging more with the community and enthusiasts, the winery might develop programs and experiences to educate the public about the Merlot varietal and the unique characteristics of Washington State wines.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is not merely a product of its prestigious legacy; it is also a stepping stone to a future where quality, sustainability, and innovation continue to define the winery’s offerings. For both the casual consumer and the discerning connoisseur, this Merlot stands as a testament to the winery’s past achievements and a promising indicator of things to come.
Procure Your Pour:
Where to Buy: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
Indulge in the rich, refined experience of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot by securing your bottle today. Here’s how you can procure your pour:
- Official Winery Website: For direct purchase, exclusive deals, and authentic quality assurance, visit Chateau Ste. Michelle’s official website. The website provides a seamless shopping experience, and you can explore other wines produced by the iconic winery.
- Online Retailers: The wine is available on various online wine shops and e-commerce platforms. These platforms often offer competitive pricing, customer reviews, and various shipping options. Examples: Wine.com and Total Wine & More.
- Winery’s Tasting Room: Located in Woodinville, Washington, the tasting room is open daily, with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays. It offers the opportunity to taste and purchase the wine directly.
- Local Wine Retailers: Find the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot at wine shops and liquor stores near you. Many retailers stock this popular Merlot given its acclaim and the winery’s reputation.
- Supermarkets and Wine Chains: Major grocery stores and wine chain outlets across the country often have this wine on their shelves. Look for it in the wine section of upscale supermarkets like Whole Foods, Safeway, and Kroger.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Club: Join the winery’s exclusive club to enjoy member-only events, special discounts, and early access to new releases, including the exquisite 2019 Merlot.
- Third-Party Wine Clubs: Some wine subscription services and clubs feature Chateau Ste. Michelle wines in their curated selections, providing another channel for procurement.
As you procure your pour of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, remember to enjoy this delightful wine responsibly, savoring every sip of Washington State’s wine legacy.
Raves & Reviews: What Sippers Say
User Reviews/Testimonials: 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
- Lisa R., Seattle, WA ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is my new go-to red.”
- Michael B., Denver, CO ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Never have I enjoyed a Merlot at this price point as much as I have enjoyed the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot. Each bottle I’ve opened has been consistent in delivering quality and flavor, making it a staple in my wine collection.”
- Sophia T., Miami, FL ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I recently brought a bottle of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot to a dinner party, and it was an instant hit!”
- David L., Austin, TX ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“A friend introduced me to the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, and I must say, it was love at first sip. The wine is smooth with a sweet finish, making it dangerously drinkable.”
- Patricia K., Brooklyn, NY ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“What struck me the most about the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot was its undeniable smoothness and the long, sweet finish. It’s a wine that is sophisticated but doesn’t come off as pretentious, making it a fantastic option for both casual and formal gatherings. The hint of Syrah in the blend is like the cherry on top of an already delightful experience.”
- James M., San Francisco, CA ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“As someone who appreciates a good Merlot, the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle did not disappoint.”
Heard it Through the Grapevine
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot
What are the prominent flavors and aromas in the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot?
The wine boasts aromas of black cherry, leather, and spice, with layers of dark red fruit flavors, resulting in a complex yet approachable profile.
How is the finish of this wine?
This Merlot offers a long, smooth, sweet finish with a hint of jammy fruit character, attributed to a touch of Syrah in the blend.
What foods pair well with this Merlot?
The wine pairs excellently with mildly-seasoned, oven-baked Porchetta, steak, and other red meats, thanks to its generous dark fruit and oak frame. Check out our Food Pairings section for more information.
What is the price range of the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot?
This wine is quite affordable, typically ranging between $15 and $20 per bottle.
Where is this wine produced?
The wine is crafted in Washington State’s Columbia Valley, renowned for its excellent growing areas and diverse vineyard sources.
Who is the winemaker behind this vintage?
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is meticulously crafted by head red winemaker Brian Mackey.
Is this wine ready to drink now, or should it be aged?
While it can be enjoyed now, this wine also holds potential for aging. Feel free to cellar it for a few years to allow its flavors to evolve and mature.
Is this wine sustainable?
Yes, Chateau Ste. Michelle is committed to sustainability, with both Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards receiving Sustainable WA certification as of February 2023.
Where can I purchase the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot?
The wine can be procured from various retailers, online wine shops, and directly from the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery’s official website. Check out our Procure Your Pour section for more information.
What awards and accolades has Chateau Ste. Michelle received?
Chateau Ste. Michelle has been acknowledged with numerous awards including 22 “Winery of the Year” honors from Wine & Spirits and 18 “Top 100” Wines from Wine Spectator.
Is the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot a Good Wine?
The Critic’s Verdict:
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot from Columbia Valley is a delightful convergence of elegance and accessibility, making it an irresistible choice for both seasoned wine aficionados and casual drinkers alike. Critics widely acknowledge this vintage as a well-structured, enjoyable red that offers immediate pleasure to the palate while also holding potential for the cellar.
With its alluring aromas of black cherry, leather, and subtle spice, this Merlot creates an olfactory tapestry that instantly beckons to the senses. These inviting aromas seamlessly transition into a cascade of dark red fruit flavors, providing a tasting experience that is both complex and approachably smooth. The touch of Syrah within its blend imparts a jammy fruit character, adding an additional layer of depth and intrigue to its profile.
I commend the wine’s balanced expression, where dark plum fruit and coffee-tinged oak frame are harmoniously interwoven, resulting in a Merlot that presents a pleasing austerity and firmness in its dried-berry depths. It’s a wine that requests the accompaniment of food, perfectly pairing with a range of dishes from a succulent steak to a meticulously seasoned, oven-baked Porchetta.
Moreover, the wine’s finish is noted for its smooth and sweet resonance, leaving a lasting impression of richness and satisfaction on the palate. Its delightful finish, coupled with its vibrant flavor profile, makes the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot a wine that can confidently stand on its own while also having the versatility to complement a meal.
For a wine at its price point, typically ranging between $15 to $20 per bottle, the 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot offers exceptional value. It’s a wine that over-delivers, providing a drinking experience that could easily be mistaken for a bottle at a higher price tier. Critics unanimously agree that for those seeking a wine that embodies the finesse and character of Washington State’s terroir without breaking the bank, this Merlot is a commendable choice.
The 2019 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot is not just a wine; it’s a statement of quality and tradition from Washington State’s oldest winery. Its captivating aromas, rich flavors, and smooth finish make it a wine that is not only ready to be enjoyed now but will also age gracefully, promising delight in every sip, whether today or in the years to come. For those seeking a bottle that encapsulates the essence of Columbia Valley’s terroir with affordability in mind, the search confidently ends here.