Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.
As Washington wines go, there are few names more recognizable than Chateau Ste. Michelle. So featuring them as a "Friday Find" probably sounds a little like saying "You like music? Have you heard of this little band called U2?" But while you're likely familiar with their greatest hits - their many Rieslings, for instance - there's a lot more to their catalogue. Today, we bring you a deep-album cut (kids...there used to be these things called "albums". They had a lot of songs on them, painstakingly chosen. It was wild.) from their Horse Heaven vineyard in the much-loved Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Because sometimes you want the viticultural equivalent of "With or Without You," but that's only because you haven't even discovered the awesomeness of "Bullet the Blue Sky."
The Horse Heaven Vineyard has been in Paterson, Washington since the 1970's, and provides some of the most consistent quality fruit. Usually, the HHV lends itself to warmer temperatures, but 2010 produced one of the coolest vintages and much to the winemaker's chagrin, a late harvest. All that work was worth it, though - the result is a bright, crisp and clean white with great acidity. It's sweet, but not syrupy, and will hold its own nicely next to those shrimp cocktails at any holiday party. If you're more the "stay in and order take-out" type, this will also pair nicely with your favorite curry dish. And since it is Chateau Ste. Michelle, you can snap this up for $11-15. So try something new on your wine playlist, and add the Horse Heaven Vineyards to your white wine must-tries.