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What: Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013 $18

Where: QFC (Broadway), Town & Country (Shoreline), Metropolitan Market (Kirkland), Fred Meyer (Greenwood)

Why: Chateau Ste. Michelle is not only one of Washington’s oldest wineries, it is also one of the state’s best, consistently producing high quality wines up and down the price ladder. Most of the fruit for the winery’s Indian Wells wines are sourced from a namesake vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, not far from The Gorge at George.

The Wahluke Slope is a wine region on the rise. One of Washington’s warmer growing regions, it is known for its gentle aspect that slants down toward the Columbia River, which marks the appellation’s western border. The Wahluke Slope is also known for its relative consistency in soil type. Taken together, these properties allow wineries like Ste. Michelle to produce high quality wines and in relative abundance.

The 2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley ($18) is one such example. It demonstrates the warmth of the 2013 vintage, with focused blue and black fruit aromas and flavors along with ample barrel spicing. It has a healthy dash of Syrah (10%) and, as a result, at times doesn't drink like a prototypical Cabernet. However, its direct appeal is impossible to ignore. Drink up!

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