We sipped and savored a selection of wines from Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle and Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars at the Wine Masterclass at Sofitel BKC, Mumbai.
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a collection of distinctive wine estates, each allowed to explore to their fullest extent, the unique growing conditions and individual wine making practices that give the wines from these estates their extraordinary character. This masterclass was organized by Madam La Cave, LA Cave – Brindco International. They are India’s leading importer and distributor of Alcoholic beverages. The history of Brindco Limited dates back to 1967 when the company was established by Mr. Brinder Pal Singh, to distribute imported alcoholic products. In 2000, the company created a separate division ‘Brindco International’ for the marketing of global wines, spirits and beer.
David Andrews -Asia/Pacific Division Manager for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates spoke about the vineyards and how nature itself makes Washington the best location for the cultivation.
Chateau Ste. Michelle owns 3,500 acres in Washington State’s renowned Columbia Valley. The Columbia Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) is a region separated from Seattle’s rainy, marine climate by the Cascade Mountains. The mountains shield the rain, limiting annual rainfall to 6-8 inches, allowing our vineyard managers to control vine vigor through irrigation. All vines in the Columbia Valley are planted on their own rootstock, which helps us maintain the health and longevity of our vineyards and preserves the grape variety in its natural state.
The heart of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is undoubtedly the estate vineyards, and extraordinary care is taken to assure that a wine’s aroma, flavor, and texture expresses a sense of place. This care is manifested in their winery’s sustainable farming practices. The S.L.V. and FAY vineyards adjoin each other, the Napa wines produce carry expressly different aspects of the terroir. S.L.V. soils are predominantly volcanic in nature and contribute multi-layered structure, concentration, and spicy intensity, often referred to as the “fire” elements. FAY’s soils, more alluvial in makeup, yield more of the “water” elements of softness, perfume, and rich berry qualities.
The wines we tasted were:
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon:
Cabernet Sauvignon is a standout variety from Washington, with silky tannins, rich complexity and concentrated fruit.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Syrah: The Columbia Valley Syrah is a soft, jammy Syrah made in an approachable and fruit forward style. This is an enjoyable, easy-to-drink red.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Single Vineyard Selection Merlot: The wine offers aromas of black cherry, leather and spice with layers of rich dark red fruit flavors and a long, smooth, sweet finish.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Single Vineyard Selection Chardonnay:
Fresh, soft style with bright apple and sweet citrus fruit character with subtle spice and oak nuances.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Series Riesling:
crafted to be a refreshing, off-dry Riesling vintage after vintage. Made in a medium-dry style, the wine delivers sweet lime and peach with subtle mineral notes.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ‘Artermis’ Carbernet Sauvignon:
Aromas of black cherry, currants, berries and a hint of sweet oak. On the palate, the wine offers full fruit flavors and a silky texture that leads to a long, lingering finish with hints of red and black.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ‘Karia’ Chardonnay:
This graceful Chardonnay opens with fragrant aromas of white peach, pear, and honeysuckle with light tropical fruit and cream soda notes. Medium bodied, this wine has a lovely texture and delicate ripe fruit notes with hints of minerality and lemon zest on the finish.
Erath Oregon Pinot Noir:
Deliciously affable, start to finish! Bursting-with-berries aromas mingle with plum, fragrant violet and an alluring hint of caramel. A silky mouthful of bing cherry and pomegranate are woven together with a persistence of smooth caramel.
These were indeed the best wines that we have tasted uptill now & thoroughly enjoyed the brief knowledge that these guys had imparted upon us.