Chateau St. Michelle Ethos Chardonnay, 2007

Delectable.  In a one-two-three punch of west coast chardonnays this week (L’Ecole No 41, Cambria and CSM’s Ethos) this is the hands down winner.

 

While L’Ecole was the most impressive, in terms of artistry, it was sort of like fine china out to impress the in-laws, and the Cambria had fine structure, although it was more like a great off the rack blazer.  The Ethos, however, well there was just no faulting the CSM, which seemed to marry haute couture with enjoyment on the midway.  It has a buttery floral nose, surprisingly smooth with a honey lemon finish.  Aperitif perfect, light, despite is amber hue, and no qualms as a dinner date (with a vegetarian casserole, base of bulgur, filled with sautéed zucchini and onions, topped with feta, cottage cheese and three year old cheddar).  True, it wouldn’t stand up to some of the Burgundies that made our time in Beaune so incredible but it shows how exceptional wine out west can be (and, keep in mind, we thoroughly dissed the Horse Heaven sauv bl, so for us this was redemption, thank you CSM).  Spectacularly well balanced.  And, thank goodness, not as uber-alcoholic as the other two, although still on the studly side.

 

Price: $22.49 USD; not available in Canada, although their everyday chardonnay sells for the same price (as the Ethos) in CDN in private stores.

 

Market Liquidity: Drop dead gorgeous.

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