Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020

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Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020
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The Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020 is 100% Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in several AVAs in the Columbia Valley of Washington. Chateau Ste Michelle was founded in 1967 when it was known as St Michelle Vintners. They are the largest winery in the Columbia Valley with 3,500 acres of vines planted.

Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020

The back label says “cellared and bottled by” Chateau Ste Michelle which suggests at least a portion of the grapes came from contracted vineyards. This wine is often found under $10 and with a rebate for $3.99. But the production details suggest a wine that should sell for more.

The 2020 vintage was cool and dry which allowed the grapes to obtain a full growing season. Chateau Ste Michelle says they choose a selection of cooler climate grapes with warmer, riper grapes to give the wine a fuller flavor profile.

57% of this Chardonnay was oak barrel-fermented with the rest fermented in stainless steel vats. Barrels fermented juice has a slightly different character than stainless steel fermented fruit, which brings different flavors to the Chardonnay.

This wine underwent malolactic fermentation (the natural tart acid in the grapes converts to a more rounded-tasting acid).

The barrel-fermented juice (57%) was aged for 6 months with 13% new barrels, 12% one-year-old barrels, and the rest neutral oak.

This Chardonnay is a blend of oak-fermented and aged Chardonnay with Stainless steel fermented and aged Chardonnay, which should provide a nice contrast. The alcohol content is 14%.

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The Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020 Tasting Notes

The color is a golden yellow. The nose is lemon and melon, with peach and pear, along with coconut milk, apple, a hint of spice, vanilla, and a floral edge. The Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020 is a medium-bodied wine with husky flavors.

This Chardonnay tastes like tart grapefruit, tart green apple, lemon, spice, pear, and creamy vanilla. The mid-palate shows peach, some stone fruit, a slap of interesting spice, and dried pineapple.

The acidity does a quality job of letting the flavors fully unfold and giving this inexpensive Chardonnay some decent length.

The Summary

  • The Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2020 sips well and would make a good food wine.
  • It has enough flavor and structure to stand up to a wide variety of foods.
  • This is a wine that drinks above its price tag.
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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.