We did sort of an unintentional blind tasting last night and were pleasantly shocked by the lush taste of the wine — and then by its price.
We pulled a bottle of 2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay (Columbia Valley) from our "cellar" not remembering how much we'd paid for it. If it's in our rack, we know we didn't pay much.
But after we tasted the smooth, soft and rich liquid that came out of the bottle, we ran to check our records to see what we'd paid.
The answer: an unbelievable $9.99 — for a wine that tastes better than (we're not kidding) at least one of our recent $25 Chardonnay purchases.
Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator both rated this wine 88. W.E. said it best: "Here is a solid, widely distributed, well-priced, all-purpose Chardonnay. It's got plenty of buttery toast, soft and round fruit—lightly peachy—and unusual richness for a wine in this price range. It's a California style with a Washington twist—real acid."
Chateau Ste. Michelle is another of the few totally reliable wineries that consistently puts out good wines at great prices. It's outdone itself with the 2007 Chard.
Another tip: The 2007 Hogue Chardonnay from this same Columbia Valley is considered a great value at the same price: $10.