Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select riesling review

23 06 2010

We have called Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling from Washington state the “king” of inexpensive U.S. rieslings.  Today we review an “upgrade” to the king called Harvest Select, which sells for $10.

Before we begin, let’s talk about something important:  if you like sweeter wines, you should definitely be aware of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s “plain” riesling.  Selling at Total Wine for just $8, this stuff is a big deal because it is very drinkable, even for people who don’t usually drink wine, YET it is also very servable because it qualifies as “real wine” in snob circles.

Now, for 2 more dollars, you can buy the Harvest Select.  Mmmm, “Harvest Select”. . . the name just reeks of exclusivity — so wine country, so authentic, so, upper crust.  Unfortunately, if you buy this thinking, you have been fooled.   To be fair, the Harvest Select is an upgrade in one way: it has no troubling flavors at all.  The plain Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling cannot make this statement.  You could also argue that the Harvest Select’s sweet flavors are higher quality, more interesting, more umm. . . upper crust, than the plain riesling’s. 

But the plain version is more balanced.  Its awkward notes provide a little acidity and tartness.  Balance is where the Harvest Select falls on its sugary face.  There isn’t much to counter its powerful, heavy sweetness.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not terrible wine at all.  But my reaction, and the overall reaction at a recent wine tasting, was that it is too sweet and not interesting enough when compared with other wines in this price range.

Next!

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