Dr. Gonzo dropped in last #WineWednesday for what was to be a MegaTastingDay with old friend and brand new regional Ste. Michelle rep Marcus Brinkerhof, to wheel-and-deal for the dreaded EOM (that’s End of Month for all you laymen and women out there):

Columbia Crest Pinot Gris Grand Estates Columbia Valley 2009.  Grade=Outstanding.  Showing off some nice stone fruit and mineral notes.  Rounded finish.  Very nice.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling Columbia Valley 2009.  Grade=Outstanding.  Key lime, golden cherries, a bit of mineral and mint, with a dry and balanced finish.

Columbia Crest Chardonnay Grand Estates Columbia Valley 2008.  Grade=Outstanding.  Creamy stone fruit, a hint of nectarine, some buttered brioche and vanilla undertones.  A real crowdpleaser.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2009.  Grade=Outstanding+.  Quite different from its aforementioned cousin.  Much more elegant display of apples, pears, and slight butterscotch underpinnings, finishing soft and

Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling Columbia Valley 2009.  Grade=Outstanding+.  A gorgeous, medium-dry Riesling with beautiful stone fruit notes and amazing balance.  Lovely.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Columbia Valley 2009.  Grade=Outstanding+.  The benchmark of American Riesling, this hits all the high points and leaves any low points out of mind.  An incredible value all-around.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Harvest Select Columbia Valley 2010.  Grade=Outstanding.  A sweeter version of their flagship wine, this white displays some Key lime, mineral and sweet apple characters.

Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Two Vines Columbia Valley 2009.  Grade=Outstanding+.  A ridiculously-priced red, this stunning value has a lot of weight and body to it; black and red berry fruits, baking spices and a profound sense of varietal identity for a $7 wine.

Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Estates Columbia Valley 2008.  Grade=Outstanding.  Medium-to-full-bodied with nice dark cherry and blackberry notes, spices, vanilla and hints of mocha.

Columbia Crest Merlot Grand Estates Columbia Valley 2007.  Grade=Outstanding+.  A great example of why I say Washington is the ideal place in the States for Merlot.  Big, rich, and full of dark plums, cherries, cedar and smoky spices.  A great value!

Columbia Crest Amitage Grand Estates Columbia Valley 2008.  Grade=Amazing.  A great little blend from Washington State – the king of blended wines.  Mostly Merlot and Syrah, this bold, fruit-driven wine is both balanced and
crowdpleasing.  Overperforms for the money.

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