Chateau Ste Michelle 2013 Indian Wells chardonnay

The wine blogosphere is abuzz now that the secret’s out. Back in February, Sean was crying like his lover died, and sure enough, apparently his lemonparty partner, Paul Guttgutt announced his sudden retirement (for the third time) from his hollow palaver on wine leading pundits to wonder how he could live on the measly tip coins from his banjo slinging. Well, now we know as a scientist recently revealed his discovery of the evolution on how upright chimpanzees evolved to be able to metabolize alcohol through the eons. After all, alcohol is a poison to nearly all living things (except wine bloggers, which confirms long held suspicions about the genetic makeup of such globs). By studying a biopsy from the world’s oldest looking bullshit blogging senior wine writer, scientists were able to determine that at a point, some 10 million years ago, we became able to catabolize ethanol due to a DNA mutation that produced an enzyme that is able to effectively breakdown alcohol to a less harmful substrate. I guess there is some good in keeping the old goat around after all… Hey, anyone saw that recent report on those potheads in Colorado getting burned while trying to extract pure THC from high potency cannabis using butane? These fools get burned enough to require a skin graft that usually originates from the butt region. Kinda blurs the line when you tell a Colorado ghanja-man he looks like an asshole. Speaking of dopes, what the fuck is up with Sean stroking the dicktards at Chateau Ste. Michelle? Is he that hard up to get a free slog of 2014 Erotica wine? So funny that when the slave rants against the “machine” of big-time, soulless producers like the Chateau, he tames the bullshit when offered a free glass of “plonk assjuice.” That’s ok, Sean, we won’t tell them what you REALLY think of Chateau Ste. Michelle.

This shitjuice of a bottle is everywhere in western Washington. It’s like the cheapest unit of upper-premium sounding, single vineyard sounding, golf club name sounding wine offered by the former National Wine Company-Pomerelle Wine Company (merged in 1954). Most consumers are suckered into thinking this is a single vineyard offering. It is not. Indian Wells Vineyard is located in the Wahluke Slope AVA even though (1) none of CSM’s four “Indian Wells” wines are proud enough to call it “Wahluke Slope AVA”; and (2) the wine has been blended from so many other vineyards that it can’t be legally labeled “Indian Wells Vineyard” but they get away with the “Indian Wells” impression.

This bottle retails for $18 at the store. So-called “club” members can pick it up at a discount at $14.40. I bought this excess stock at under $12. First off, if anyone from California bought this bottle at full retail, then I applaud you, CSM. We are always for ripping off the Californicators of wine. But then, if you’re a wine club member of “Washington’s Founding Winery,” the winery is implying you cover yourself in a Dum Dum wrapper because you are a SUCKER for wasting your cash on this. If I was a member of this flub, I’d walk right into Bob’s office, turn this half-drunk bottle sideways, and stick it straight up his ass. How can any wine executive ripoff his own membership??? That defeats the entire purpose of building a wine club. Bob, I know you read this crap, you go right down to VRC relations, scream at Kati’s team (as usual) and kick their asses then give them the authority to give club members a deeper discount on the wines. Pretty much the only difference between you and me is your golden parachute. I’m still gunna see you at Club Med parties and wonder why you haven’t shaved down there for the ladies. Give the club members a break, dood.

Gawd, who doesn’t luv to bitchslap Chateau Ste Michelle? Ask any local smellier and when you suggest ordering a CSM wine instead of their recommendation, watch them wince with a pinch of disgust that you could be such a dreg. And yet, who the heck sponsors all those soirees and hosts those old goats for summer concerts that you used to listen to? CSM makes wines for tourists. Their layout in Woodinville caters to tourists. Oh yes, there’s a vineyard there… but it’s for show only. Yeah, find a “Woodinville Estate Vineyard” wine from CSM. Doesn’t exist, bitch. Think you’ll find any of the local winemakers hangin’ at the tasting room there? You must be smokin’ 420 out of your ass. Not. Gonna. Happen.

So why does this sell so much? Well, look at the label. Consumers get sucked in by any connotation that the bottle is of “single vineyard” origin. Especially when it’s going for a dozen bucks compared to the fifty buck chucks from Cali. The back label is expertly worded to appeal to English majors and the food pairing recommendations are commendable, even for a cheap wine. And, it passed the test of a cheap wine. I slogged the remnants straight outta the bottle and it still tasted better than in the Riedel. Don’t try that at home. Leave it to the professionals like us. Don’t break the rules.

And now, a word about Danish butter cookies. You know, those blue tins that line the aisles in the supermarkets this time of year. You grew up on those addictively sweet morsels just like I did. You enjoyed the “crunch” of those steroid-like sugar crystals. You avoided any cookies that didn’t have those joy rocks. You know it. Well, turns out they make a fairly decent (and discriminating) wine pairing with the cheap stuff.

Some history. The cookies were actually made and sold by the Kjeldsen family in Denmark back in 1933. That name is now known as Kelsen’s and is synonymous with Danish butter cookies and they are the original purveyor to the Royal Court of Denmark and so their cookies bear the name Royal Dansk.

There are five varieties of Royal Dansk cookies and they all pair fine with this wine. First is my favorite, the Finsk Brod or “Finnish bread” cookie which is the rectangular sugar crystal-topped cookie. An ok pairing due to the slightly bitter back-end when chased with this wine. Next is the most difficult to hand-make, the pretzel-shaped “kringle.” Danish moms used to scatter the offspring to avoid seeing an apparition of ‘dragon mom’ when making this morsel. This cookie was the first to disappear from tins in the family household. It is the perfect match of cookie crumble, sugar crunch, and air. Good and smooth with this wine. Next is the vanilla kranse cookie that looks like a “C”. The extra vanilla adds a creaminess that uplifts the wine. Best matching. Fourthly is the smorrekikser, or butter cookie, which is just a round disc of a butter cookie, sometimes topped with coarse sugar. About as plain Jane as it gets. Finally, there’s the kanelkager, or cinnamon cakes, that probably use neutralized cinnamon. Cinnamon? I don’t taste no cinnamon. With the wine, this tasted like licking shoebottoms. Last but not least, there’s an “O’ shaped sugar crusted cookie that tastes just like the pretzel-shaped kringle. I can only guess Sean uses it for his penis ring (Annie just smiled). As for the design of the blue tin, look for a scene depicting small-town life in Denmark as your assurance of quality. Ya know, in all the time I’ve eaten the real thing, the taste has been remarkably consistent. Makes for a great Christmas present and tradition.

Tasted at 51-62 degrees on the IR temp gun. Originally paired with semi-homemade spaghetti and it worked fine because the wine really didn’t exist much. Color: bright lemon that quickly fades. Nose: peach, pineapple. Mouthfeel: medium-bodied but soft and fluffy. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: peach, nectarine, faint lemon. Somewhat ephemeral.

Alcohol: 14.0%. Columbia Valley AVA. Aged in 28% US and French oak for 5 months sur lie. Malo’d. TA 0.53. pH 3.46. Many thousands of cases. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 1/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 87. Retail: $18. Paid: $12. Value: $12. Music pairing: “Break The Rules” by Charli XCX. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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8 Responses to Chateau Ste Michelle 2013 Indian Wells chardonnay

  1. csabernethy says:

    Whoa! You slam the wine big time and then give it an 87? Did you get a kickback from CSM, or are you going soft on us? Good to hear from you again! I’ve been busy – moved into a new house and found a few long lost jewels in my wine cellar.

  2. Winemaker of Mass Destruction says:

    Hmm…I need to throw a red flag edit.
    On this line -> “You enjoyed the “crunch” of those steroid-like sugar crystals”

    I would word this as – You enjoyed the “crunch” of those METH-like sugar crystals that are more perfect than anything Walter White could cook up.


  3. wawineman says:


    What up, dawg? Saw your pictures of your new crib… when’s the housewarming party?

    Ya, so I was like mildly surprised it rated what it did. Technically, it is a sound wine. It’s also from the 2013 vintage. However, in typical big winery fashion, it lacks soul. Depth. Finesse. It’s a wine you converse through without pause. Well, whaddya expect for twelve lousy bucks?

    So, Indiana Abernethy, what jewels did you unearth in the fissures of your old cellar? Curious minds want to know!

  4. wawineman says:


    Red flag confirmed upon review.

  5. csabernethy says:

    No real treasures, except a couple bottles from the ’08 vintage that were listed as ’11’s in my spreadsheet. Also found a nice bottle of Kaella Sangiovese…

  6. wawineman says:

    Hah! Go pair that with a shiny can of Spaghetti-O’s.

    You found some ’08’s? Need help drinking them?

    I’m afraid to go digging in the basement locker. I recently found a set of Corliss syrahs that I forgot about. And that dam Cooper is plugging up half my entrance.

  7. csabernethy says:

    Coop and his parents are coming to dinner next week. I’m sharing my last ’08 Pinot Gris and my last ’10 Marsanne. I imagine Coop will bring a couple reds. Otherwise, I might not let him in.

  8. wawineman says:

    Waat?? I’ve been trying to extort a case of his wines for years and he keeps giving me the finger with his trademark smile.

    Oh, that pinot gris was perhaps the best ever Washington pinot gris after a year of cellaring. Unforgettable. And that marsanne hummed a Barry White tune. Had good pussy after that one.

    Wonder what Coop will bring to the dinner? Hedges? Tapteil? Hightower? Blackwood Canyon? You tell that beeyatch he owes me for all the referrals that became his wine club members!!!

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