Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling Earns Perfect 100-Point Score -- Marking the Highest-Ever Rating for a Washington White Wine
July 15, 2021
Woodinville, Wash. – Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2012 Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling recently earned a perfect 100-point score from Wine & Spirits in the magazine’s August issue, marking the highest rating ever for a Washington white wine. The remarkable 100-point score for the highly-prized Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling is the latest accolade in a long tradition of top honors for this ground-breaking partnership between two of the world’s leading Riesling producers, Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington state and Ernst Loosen of Germany.
Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling is crafted in the traditional German Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) style and is one of the few TBA-style wines in North America today. The dessert wine is ultra-rich and concentrated, yet elegant with intense aromas of orange blossom and flavors of ripe pineapple and honey with a long, luscious finish. Grapes were harvested from a particular parcel in eastern Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills known for the development of botrytis, which is essential to make a TBA-style wine. The concentrated, shriveled berries are individually hand-picked and hand-sorted.
The previous eight vintages of Single Berry Select Riesling have earned between 93-99 points in leading wine publications, making it one of the consistently highest-rated white wines in the world. The 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Single Berry Select Riesling retails for $200 for a 375 ml bottle with a limited 850 bottles produced. A limited quantity of the wine will be available at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Woodinville winery and online store at ste.michelle.com.
The Wine & Spirits article describes the inspiration behind the partnership and what makes this wine so unique. “Ernst Loosen has spent just over 20 years in collaboration with Chateau Ste. Michelle, two decades combing hundreds of acres of riesling vines for places that might meet his ideal expression of the variety of Washington State… The texture is massive, powerful, layered, but the wine maintains astounding clarity and freshness, the finish long, precise, and whisper-clean. It’s a tour de force, and a testament to this esteemed collaboration.”
According to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Chief Winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca, the accolade is the culmination of curiosity and commitment between the vineyard and winemaking teams.
“We are honored by this score which is a result of two decades of pushing the boundaries of growing and making Riesling and showing the world what Riesling can do,” says Muñoz-Oca. “This achievement is shared by the entire Chateau Ste. Michelle team, from our viticulturalists and growers farming some of the finest Riesling in North America, to our vineyard crews who meticulously hand-pick the berries, to our winemakers who bring out the ultimate expression of the grape and care for the long, slow fermentation needed to make this special wine, and of course our partner and friend Ernst Loosen. Ernst’s vision, unmatched enthusiasm and expertise from his family’s 200-year Riesling winemaking tradition has changed the way we grow Riesling in Washington state.”
The score is the latest in a long list of accolades for the portfolio of Eroica wines. Upon its release in 1999, the standard off-dry Eroica Riesling set the bar for American Riesling earning a place on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list for its first five vintages. The standard Eroica Riesling has gone on to earn 90+ points from national wine publications for all twenty vintages. Mostly recently, the 2019 Eroica Riesling won “Wine of the Year” in the 2021 Sommelier Choice Awards.
The Eroica collaboration celebrated its 20th anniversary of their visionary partnership last year. Launched in 1999, Eroica is an intermingling of Old and New World philosophies and techniques with a mission to craft the finest American Riesling from Washington. Named after Beethoven’s Third Symphony, Eroica wines reflects not only their variety and site, but also their heritage: bold and forward from their Washington roots, elegant and refined from German inspiration.
“For me, this honor is doubly rewarding,” explains Ernst Loosen, owner of Dr. Loosen estate. “First of all, it gives validation to the whole concept of the Eroica project, which was to bring together the experience of the Old World with the energy of the New World. But it also shows that we’ve had success in our ultimate goal of elevating Washington Riesling to the highest level of the greatest Riesling regions of the world. The Single Berry Select is the pinnacle of what we can produce, and we are grateful that Wine & Spiritshas recognized the years of dedication and effort that went into it. I’m especially proud that this is coming out of a true collaboration with the wonderful team at Chateau Ste. Michelle. The mutual respect that we share, together with our never-ending quest for perfection, have made this partnership a genuine pleasure for me.”
The two decades of Riesling exploration have led the Eroica team to expand the lineup to include Eroica XLC, a dry Riesling lees-aged for 12 months in upright oak casks, Eroica Gold, a riper, sweeter style of Riesling, Eroica Ice Wine, when weather conditions allow, and aged Eroica, a five-year bottle aged Eroica vintage designed to showcase the beautiful age-ability of Riesling.
Loosen shares that it was a combination of curiosity and a happy accident that led him to Chateau Ste. Michelle and Washington 20 years ago.
“I was looking to do a Riesling project in the New World, since I believed it would take New World enthusiasm to help us rebuild the reputation of Riesling globally,” explains Loosen. “An American friend introduced me to the wines of Chateau Ste. Michelle and I was immediately impressed. The climate and soils of Washington are different from Germany, but we had Riesling in common. We’ve never tried to make a “German” Riesling, but have been experimenting and trying new things to find out what works best for Riesling in Washington.”
Looking to the future, the partnership is focused on sharing their combined passion for Riesling with a new generation of wine drinkers and continuing to explore new wine styles and break new ground.
About Chateau Ste. Michelle
Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington State and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery owns 2,200 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek, which are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified. Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoys winemaking partnerships with some of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen and Tenet is a collaboration with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France.
Chateau Ste. Michelle has championed Riesling for more than 50 years and was among the first to plant Riesling in Washington state. Ste. Michelle catapulted into the national spotlight when its 1972 Johannisberg Riesling won the now-famous Riesling blind tasting sponsored by the Los Angeles Times in 1974. Today, Chateau Ste. Michelle offers up to nine different Rieslings, each showcasing the versatility of Riesling and the regional styles within Washington’s Columbia Valley, which produces more Riesling than any other American wine region.
For more information about Chateau Ste Michelle, please visit www.ste-michelle.com.
About Dr. Loosen estate
The Dr. Loosen Estate in the Mosel Valley has produced fine Riesling for over two centuries.
During the last two decades, proprietor Ernst Loosen has traveled the world promoting the fine quality and long tradition of Riesling as a great wine in Europe, and now the New World.