Wine Spectator 91 points - Smooth and spicy, with a broad layer of chocolate and black olive flavors dominating the fruit, although the blueberry and plum notes slide into the finish with polish. Will strike some as overdone, but has the goods. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2015. 2,210 cases made.-HS
(Nov 30 2012)
Vinous 90 points - (15% alcohol; a five-variety Bordeaux blend based on 65% cabernet sauvignon): Aromas of currant, cherry, spicecake and nutty oak. Suave, smooth and ripe, with redcurrant and spice flavors complemented by new oak. Harmonious acidity gives balance and shape to the wine. Finishes with slightly edgy oak tannins and excellent length. Very good wine, but I’d still like to be able to see this fruit with a bit less lumber.
90+ Points (Nov 2012)
Wine Advocate 90 points - For thoughts on Chateau Ste Michelle’s uniqueness and recent evolution, consult my extensive April, 2013 text designed to introduce recent tasting notes. Ste Michelle’s 2009 Meritage Artist Series is richer than its 2010 counterpart and more seamlessly ripe and sweet as well. But it also harbors some slightly drying tannin and lacks the sense of levity or primary juiciness than possessed by the 2010 - for all of my reservations about it - not to mention the 2009 Canoe Ridge Merlot. Licorice, chocolate, and tar mingle with cherry and cassis in a satisfyingly persistent finish. Look for at least 3-4 years of high performance here, though my intuition is not to expect noticeable improvement with bottle age. (Mar 2013)