Best of the Best 2012: Domestic White Wines: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Ethos Late Harvest White Riesling
Chateau Ste. Michelle is not only the oldest winery in Washington State, but also the largest. While greater size does not usually connote greater quality, this estate consistently proves itself to be an exception to that rule. Though the winery dates back to 1934, the present company was formed 20 years later as American Wine Growers. The Chateau Ste. Michelle moniker belonged originally to a line of premium wines, but in 1976 the company assumed its current identity. Much admired for its single-vineyard Chardonnay, the label also crafts superb Cabernet Sauvignon and a dynamic late-harvest Riesling. The Chateau Ste. Michelle 2008 Ethos Late Harvest White Riesling (www.ste-michelle.com, $35 per 375 ml) offers a honeysuckle-scented nose and flavors of fresh marmalade and apricot preserves that are washed in brilliant, cleansing acidity.