03 Aug “Big Wine” white – Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Hills Sauvignon Blanc
“Big Wine” is a big deal.
“Big Wine” is a reference to the handful of major players
who dominate the market, supplying most of the $10-$30 per bottle
inventory we see on the shelf at the store and listed online.
The term carries with it some baggage.
It’s typically associated with quantity, not quality.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of those “Big Wine” players.
Now owned by a private equity company, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
produces 60% of Washington’s wine sales spread across
a broad collection of varietals.
Take Riesling for example.
Ste. Michelle cranks out more than eight million cases
of just Riesling…every year.
Now that’s big.
But big isn’t necessarily bad.
It’s Wine Thursday!
As the weekend approaches, we check out a good wine
that sells at a reasonable price and is easy to find at retail or online.
This week’s spotlight shines on a relatively small piece
of a “Big Wine” company’s portfolio.
And in this specific case, bigger is better.
Where it’s from
You have to love the legend.
As the story goes, the region gets its name from an early pioneer.
Upon seeing the vast prairies and expanses of Eastern Washington
near the Columbia River, the pioneer observed, “Surely this is horse heaven.”
Home to over one quarter of Washington’s planted vineyard acreage, Horse Heaven Hills
is known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Riesling.
But this week’s featured wine is none of those.
What it is
Sauvignon Blanc is a minor piece of the Chateau Ste. Michelle portfolio.
But it is not to be overlooked.
This is a pleasingly fresh white with concentrated flavors.
You’ll taste lemon, lime and peach.
The medium body resolves in a chalky finish.
Unlike its counterparts from New Zealand, this Sauvignon Blanc
does not have that strong grassy, herbaceous feel.
It’s more on the fruity side.
Important note: Chateau Ste. Michelle also sells a lesser,
entry-level Sauvignon Blanc.
Don’t go there.
Go here…to the Horse Heaven Hills version. It’s far superior.
Where to buy it
QFC has the Horse Heaven Hills version on the shelf for $12.99.
Total Wine’s price is $14.99.
Same price at both Albertsons and Safeway…$14.99.
You’ll find it at Fred Meyer for $15.99.
You can order it from Empire Wine for $12.97
Plum Market sells it for $12.97
Woods Wholesale Wines lists it at $11.97
The price at B-21 is $10.98
and it’s at Central Wine Merchants for $14.98