A Powerfully Elegant Red - Wine & Spirits Magazine

A Powerfully Elegant Red

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, Washington (Photo courtesy of the winery)

Chateau Ste. Michelle launched the Artist Series blend in 1993, and has since employed the work of more than 30 different artists on the label, including Dale Chihuly, Alden Mason, Eva Isaksen and Andre Petterson. This year the bottle features a series of abstract geometric paintings by Seattle artist Jazz Browne, which pulse with a vibrant energy, as does the wine inside. 

In 2019 the blend is mostly cabernet sauvignon (61 percent) and merlot (31 percent), the balance malbec and cabernet franc, drawn mostly from Cold Creek Vineyard, one of the winery’s oldest sources for cabernet. Typically among the first of the red wine lots that the winemaking team blends, it is often powerful, and yet the blend rests chiefly on its finesse. In my notes I referred to this vintage as a “powerhouse of elegance” (and noted the contradiction as well). The flavors, deep and inky, rely on cabernet for their depth and modest leafiness, but the polish and vibrancy of the wine comes from the merlot, counterbalancing the richness with a suave juicy immediacy, the texture, resting on fine-grained tannins, delivered with silken grace.


Chateau Ste. Michelle 2019 Columbia Valley Artist Series Red Blend

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.

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