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Kate Michaud’s 1805 Columbia Valley Chardonnay reflects the cool weather that prevailed throughout 2010 as well as the well-drained soils and picturesque slopes that gaze upon the Columbia River below. Grown on south facing slopes that reach to over 1,300 feet, the 2010 1805 Chardonnay exhibits a bright, fresh robe that emanates a wonderful set of aromatics. On the nose delicate floral aromas mingle with apple and peach scents. And, with a bit of aeration, spice and seductive oak tones come to fore and meld with the wine’s fresh fruit flavors, but happily never overpower them. Although primarily barrel fermented and then aged in neutral oak for nine months, 1805’s beautiful fruit flavors shine through. The use of neutral oak barrels, rather than new oak barrels, makes for an ideal marriage: the wine and the wood complement each and become one entity – all the way to 1805’s long, racy finish. Enjoy this tasty, easy to drink Chardonnay moderately chilled.
California Chardonnay can generally go one of two ways: it can make a splendid aperitif when the wood doesn’t dominate the wine or it has to be served with rich sauces that soak up the oak. In the case of the 2010 1805 Columbia Valley Chardonnay from Washington, you can have it both ways. Thanks to Kate Michaud’s adroit use of neutral oak her 1805 Chardonnay can be sipped as an aperitif to one’s delight or brought to table to complement well-prepared seafood, chicken, and pasta dishes. Crab lasagna is one of the winery’s favorite pairings with their 1805 Chardonnay. Pan seared sea scallops served with a vine ripe tomato stuffed with bacon laced sushi rice, grilled zucchini, and mushroom ragout pairs nicely, too. Ahi tuna with tempura shrimp over a California roll with dipping sauce provides another tasty complement. Shrimp and grits and chicken salads made with grapes, walnuts, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, offer good company to the 1805 Chardonnay as well, but one doesn’t have to put anything on the table to enjoy the 1805 Chardonnay.
1805 is a new wine venture that pays tribute to one of life’s great expeditions and the need that each of us has to explore. For some individuals, the need to explore comes from the great outdoors. For others, it is the need to acquire a new interest or language. And for others, it is the discovery of wine. The folks at 1805 Wines have based their brand on the principle of discovery that is rooted in the great tradition of America’s foremost explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
In 1804 Lewis and Clark were commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase and undertake a scientific expedition across the American continent to the Pacific Coast. On this legendary 18-month expedition with Lewis and Clark were Sacajawea and a host of characters who explored, fought, and mapped the lands and rivers westward from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. The expedition’s "Corps of Discovery" included the Missouri River, the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia River, and finally in 1805, the corps’ ultimate prize, the Columbia Valley in what is now eastern Washington.
Within twenty years of Lewis and Clark’s expedition, a hardy group of erudite pioneers had “discovered” the ideal climate and soil of Columbia Valley. This stalwart band recognized the value of the valley’s high-desert plains and well-drained soils for the cultivation of the vine and planted the area’s first grape vines. Hence, it is in the continuing spirit of exploration and pioneering that 1805 produces quality Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling in Washington State’s Columbia Valley.
Winemaker Kate Michaud is a natural fit for 1805, whose mantra is exploration and discovery. Kate was born in Detroit but grew up Mexico City and London. In college she studied art history at the University of Oregon in Eugene, but decided that greater adventure and exploration were needed, so off she went to Colorado for snowboarding and then on to Santa Cruz, California where she landed her first cellar job at Bonny Doon, one of California’s pioneering vineyards.
Since her stint at Bonny Doon, wine has been Kate’s passion. She entered UC Davis' winemaking program and has pursued a career in wine ever since. She traveled to Australia's Margaret River region before returning to the US and David Bruce Winery. She then moved on to Walla Walla, Washington as assistant winemaker at Canoe Ridge Vineyard, but Kate wasn’t finished exploring. Kate quit the States to hone her skills at Kim Crawford, one of New Zealand’s iconic wineries. Finding herself longing for Washington State’s cool climate, Kim made her way back to the Columbia Valley in 2007 and a tour at Covey Run. Today, she is head winemaker at 1805, exploring ways to express the unique terroir of Columbia Valley. To say that Kate pushes the envelope in her quest would be an understatement, but isn’t that what good explorers do?
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