Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Head Winemaker Bob Bertheau and his Washington team, along with Rhône valley collaborators, winemaker Michel Gassier and enology consultant Philippe Cambie, have combined their experience to produce two wines: Tenet GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) and The Pundit Syrah. Philippe and Michel provide expertise and use local techniques honed through centuries of experience with Rhône grapes in their birthplace, while the Chateau Ste. Michelle team provides expert knowledge of Washington fruit and the best in modern winemaking techniques. The combination of the two approaches produces wines that are balanced and vibrant and have a true sense of place. The goal is to break the old paradigms and have people look at Syrah and other Rhône varieties in a new light, leaving old prejudices behind. They share the strong belief (or “tenet”) that Syrah and its Rhône brethren can thrive in the Columbia Valley.
"See Syrah through our eyes. Discover a wine that defies conventional wisdom, announcing to the world that it's time to take flight on the winds of change, leave old notions behind and experience something truly revolutionary. The Pundit expresses finesse and balance, uniting a traditional Rhône style with all the attitude of the great Columbia Valley wines. You'll never look at Syrah in the same way again."
Approximately 25% of the lots were fermented as whole clusters, with the remaining lots fermented as de-stemmed grapes. The inclusion of stems during fermentation contributes earthy, savoury aromas and flavours that perfectly complement the pure fruit character of the grapes. To further enhance these complexities, about 20% of the lots also underwent extended maceration. After fermentation, the majority of the young wine was placed into neutral French and American oak barrels and large barrels called puncheons for ageing, with the remaining wine aged in tight-grained new French oak barrels and puncheons. The use of neutral and tighter-grained barrels helps to preserve the unique character of the wine itself. The use of puncheons allows the natural characteristics of the fruit to shine. The assembly of the final blend was a true collaboration of winemakers Bob Bertheau, Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie, combining their decades of experience to produce a wine that demonstrates why Washington State is one of the best growing regions in the world for Syrah.
The colour is deep ruby with garnet highlights. Raspberry jam and citrus with soy and earthy undertone aromas are complemented by a brambly, subtle meaty character. A smooth mouthfeel glides into a long silky finish with flavors of juicy blueberry, hints of tobacco and subtle gamey undertones.