2006 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Indian Wells" Columbia Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1044821

92 points Wine & Spirits: "This assertive chardonnay leads with heady scents of caramelized apples and vanillin. The oak aromas recede on the palate, brightened by juicy pear flavors of impressive clarity; the oak and fruit, in the end, are finely integrated. For veal." 89 points and a "Smart Buy" designate, Wine Spectator: "Polished and refined, with a distinct hazelnut note adding interest to the creamy peach and apple flavors, lingering gently on the finish. Drink now through 2011." (09/08) And, according to Wine Enthusiast: "This is a wine for those who love the California style of Chardonnay." (12/08) K&L's notes - If you are looking for a well-priced, rich, complex California Chardonnay, maybe it is time to look to Washington! Yes, Washington is really producing some excellent value buys with Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This Chardonnay is a well-rounded, rich, creamy Chard with plenty of acidity and freshness. (Trey Beffa, K&L's domestic buyer)

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Price: $13.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.