I was invited to attend a pre- opening of Col Solare on Wednesday at Chateau Ste. Michelle. If you don’t know, Chateau Ste. Michelle partnered with Antinori wines back in 1995 to unite Washington & Italy viticulture with the two winemaking cultures to produce world-class Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. I must say, I think they have done a great job. Col Solare only makes 5,000 to 10,00 cases each year.
The Col Solare Bottega is located within the back tasting area of Chateau Ste. Michelle. It is a glass room which is reminicient of the Col Solare tasting room in Red Mountain. They want you to feel that you experience “a taste of red Mountain” right here in Woodinville and that you will want to go over to visit in eastern Washington also.
At the invitation of Chateau Ste. Michelle, I was able to attend a tasting with winemaker, Marcus Notaro, who led us through a 2008 & 2009 Col Solare and then onto barrel tastes of 2010 Merlot, 2010 Malbec, 2010 Cabernet Franc, and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. They were all very impressive but I favored the 2009 Col Solare which is the first time Marcus used a bit of Malbec in the blend. The taste of the 2010 Malbec, with it’s white pepper flavors, and the 2010 Cabernet Franc which had soft spices and blueberry flavors also stood out for me.
The Col Solare Bottega is now open for regular business by appointment for individual and small group tasting appointments seven days a week from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Each 45-minute appointment will include an overview of the Col Solare story and tasting of three vintages of the Col Solare Bordeaux-style blend, at a cost of $20 per visitor. Reservations can be made by calling 425-415-3330.