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  • Praise for Ste. Chapelle’s new Panoramic Idaho Series wines

    Last year, Ste. Chapelle Winery introduced a new tier of limited-edition, barrel-aged wines that show the winery’s more sophisticated potential called the Panoramic Idaho series. Featuring some of Idaho’s most beloved natural landmarks on its photographic labels, these wines start at $20 and include such varieties as Chardonnay, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a red blend. Look for them in the tasting room at Ste Chapelle Winery in Caldwell, ID or at stechapelle.com

    Below are excerpted reviews from Great Northwest Wine on the collection. 

    Ste Chapelle’s limited Panoramic Idaho series:
    2011 Panoramic Idaho Block 16 Chardonnay — Outstanding
    “There’s a hint of toasty oak in the inviting aromas, which are joined by dusty pear, pineapple, cotton candy, freshly laundered linen and lemongrass. Inside, it’s bright and juicy, fresh yet plush, featuring ripe Bartlett pear with light buttery undertones. A bite of Granny Smith apple and a chew of the peel adds lengthy acidity with pleasing, food-friendly bitterness.”

    • 2012 Panoramic Idaho Grenache — Outstanding
    “…The Grenache off Sawtooth Vineyard serves as yet another example of the potential of Rhone varieties in this exciting and high-elevation growing region. The barrel program offers aromas of blackberry, strawberry, black cherry and white pepper with barrel notes of vanilla, coconut, cinnamon and Magie Noire perfume. The beautiful entry brings fruit flavors of ripe strawberry, elderberry, blueberry and red currant, framed by delicious acidity akin to pomegranate and golden raspberry. Look for dusting of graphite in the finish.”

    • 2011 Panoramic Idaho Red Blend — Excellent
    “Since the purchase by Precept more than two years ago, longtime Idaho winemaker Maurine Johnson recently has been given the opportunity to create new tasting-room only wines under this Panaromic tier, and this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (46%), Merlot (39%), Syrah (10%) and Cabernet Franc reveals the serious side to Idaho’s largest winery. Aromas of mesquite smoke pick up hints of black currant, blackberry, blueberry, cherry candy and black licorice. On the palate, there’s a delicious mix of cassis, blackberry and dark chocolate flavors with touches of blueberry skin and graphite in the juicy finish.”

    • 2011 Panoramic Idaho Petit Verdot — Outstanding
    “Typically a blender in Bordeaux, Petit Verdot here is allowed to stand on its own as it exhibits aromas of blackberry, black currant, plum, vanilla and black pepper. There’s a match on the palate where it’s joined by powerful expression of plum skin tannin and Flathead Lake black raspberry acidity. And yet it finishes with satisfying roundness, a splash of coffee and sweet herbal notes.”

    • 2012 Panoramic Idaho Cabernet Sauvignon — Outstanding
    “Idaho’s largest winery recently developed this special series that focuses on the work of longtime viticulturalist Dale Jeffers and his work with Sawtooth and Skyline vineyards — the largest and most important sites in the Gem State. In some years, it’s a struggle to ripen Cabernet Sauvignon, but the stellar 2012 vintage through the Pacific Northwest made that less worrisome, and this wine reflects that, starting with the nose of cassis, chocolate-covered cherries, granite dust and a trail of smoke. There’s more dustiness among the dark fruit flavors of black cherry, black currant and blackberry, backed by delicious chocolaty tannins and elderberry acidity. Ask for these wines at the Ste. Chapelle tasting room in the Sunny Slope Wine District.”

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