Chateau Ste. Michelle, Col Solare 2015

Regular price £59.95
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  • Type:

    Red

  • Country:

    USA

  • Region:

    Washington

  • ABV:

    15.20%

  • Grape:

    Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Grape Blend:

    Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Malbec 2%, Cabernet Franc 4%, Merlot 4%

  • Winemaker:

    Bob Berthau

  • Bottle Size:

    750ml

Chateau Ste. Michelle Col Solare 2015 - Wine

Tasting Notes

Col Solare is Italian for “shining hill” – an appropriate name for this ultra-luxury Cabernet Sauvignon blend which represents the pinnacle of the talents of two influential wine producers from Italy and America. Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori and Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle have joined forces to create a premium wine which offers flavours of crushed berries, cassis, and hints of tobacco, along with a silky palate and a lingering finish.

Production Notes

Col Solares estate vineyard on Red Mountain was designed and planted according to the same specifications that the Antinori family uses in its own estate vineyards in Tuscany and Umbria. The orientation, spacing and density were matched with the site to ensure uniform ripening and fruit quality. With the winery at its apex, the estate vineyard was planted in a radial pattern, like the suns rays, which follows the natural contours of the site. Blocks of Bordeaux varieties and Syrah were sited on the vineyard according to their sensitivity to prevailing wind patterns and solar and shade angles during the day. The single-cordon training system in our high-density vineyard allows a short, single cordon to establish uniform growth and fruiting. The Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) trellising system efficiently manages vine uniformity and fruit exposure. The hand-picked grapes were carefully de-stemmed and sorted before being gently crushed and fermented on the skins for an average of 14 days. During this time, the cap was gently punched down or pumped over to infuse the fermenting juice with flavour, tannins and colour. The wine was removed from the skins and placed into 100% new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. Racking for the blend occurs every three months during the first 12 months of ageing, and every four months for the balance of the 22-month ageing period, to soften tannins and enhance the fruit qualities of the wine.

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Producer Profile

Forty years ago, Washington state was a fledgling wine region with only a handful of wineries. Today, the founding winery of the state, Chateau Ste. Michelle, has helped Washington grow into the second largest wine producing region in America. In 2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle celebrated its 40th year of Washington winemaking. Originally founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. 'It is exciting to be a part of that heritage and it is what initially attracted me to Chateau Ste. Michelle' says Bob Bertheau, head winemaker. 'I try to honor that legacy by taking advantage of our vineyard research and using innovative winemaking techniques to help Chateau Ste. Michelle maintain that pioneering spirit into the future. Overall, the mission of the winery has not changed in over forty years..to bring consumers world-class wines from Washington state. The roots of the winerys date back to after the repeal of Prohibition, when the Pommerelle Wine Company and the National Wine Company were formed in 1934 and began producing fruit wines in Washington. The two companies merged in 1954 to form American Wine Growers and continued to produce mostly fortified sweet wines. But interest in table wines was growing, as was the belief that Washington state was well suited to produce more sophisticated wines. In the mid-60s, research projects conducted by Washington State University offered promising information about growing European (vinifera) grapes varieties in eastern Washington. American Wine Growers experimented first with Grenache, then planted White Riesling in 1965 in the Yakima Valley, followed later by Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Semillon. These early efforts were met with praise from the greater wine community and in 1967 American Wine Growers began a new line of premium vinifera wines called Ste. Michelle Vintners under the direction of legendary California winemaker and consultant Andre Tchelistcheff. As part of its exclusive new focus on vinifera varietals, Ste. Michelle Vintners planted its Cold Creek Vineyard in eastern Washington in 1972. Cold Creek Vineyard remains one of the oldest and most renowned vineyards in the state. Ste. Michelle was catapulted into the national spotlight when its 1972 Johannisberg Riesling won the now-famous blind tasting of nineteen White Rieslings sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. With its new found fame and rapid growth came the need for a new home. In 1976 Ste. Michelle Vintners built a French style Chateau in Woodinville, outside of Seattle, and changed its name to Chateau Ste. Michelle to reflect its new facility. As the winery grew, so did recognition for the increasingly top quality wines being produced in Washington state. In 1984, Chateau Ste. Michelle led the way in obtaining federal recognition of the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington as a unique wine growing region or American Viticulture Area (AVA). In the early 1990s, Chateau Ste. Michelle planted its premier vineyard at Canoe Ridge Estate in eastern Washington and later built its red wine facility at the site in 1994. The 1990s also saw Chateau Ste. Michelle form the first international winemaking partnerships with two of the most distinguished vintners in the world: Col Solare, an alliance with Piero Antinori was announced in 1998 and Eroica Riesling, a partnership with the Ernst Loosen in 1999. Today, Chateau Ste. Michelle is not only recognized for pioneering vinifera grape growing in the Columbia Valley, but is also a leader in modern day viticultural research. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery is known for its highly acclaimed Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet.