Appellation: Columbia Valley
Here is the wine that drives European Riesling producers crazy. In international blind tastings, this tends to outshine more traditional areas such as Germany, Alsace and Austria -- all at an astonishing price. Around Ste. Michelle, this is known as "baby Eroica," but it always has less sweetness than its big brother. This version has 0.72 percent residual sugar with a lip-smacking pH of 2.98. The result is an intriguing wine with aromas and flavors of honey, citrus, spices, jasmine and apricots, all backed by steely acidity. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine. (12 percent alcohol)
Cases produced: 70,000.
Food matches: This versatile wine will pair perfectly with crab, scallops or clams, as well as Cougar Gold or South Asian curries.
Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, 425-488-1133, www.ste-michelle.com.