1997 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay, Columbia Valley ($11).
This is simply an extraordinary value, especially for a wine in such abundant supply. There's a cool crispness to this penetrating, lively, apple-y Washington state white wine. The extraordinarily reliable Chateau Ste. Michelle has produced a chardonnay that could give "food wines" a good name. It doesn't lack character; there's just an extra measure of vibrancy that's unusual in an American chardonnay.
Pub Date: 12/30/98