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 (GrenacheSyrahMourvédre) 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.
In addition, Gassier has crafted a companion wine, Le Fervent, from the Costiéres de NÃ®mes AOC of the Rhône Valley. Offering wines from both regions, the aim is to show their respective character and their common excellence.
The goal with these wines is to exhibit the growing regions by letting the opulence and vibrancy of the varieties shine through while maintaining finesse and balance. Rhône Valley techniques for managing vine canopy and cluster size in the vineyard, and minimal use of new oak, delicate and precise handling of the fruit, fermentation with stems and extended maceration in the winery all help to accomplish this goal.
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 the same way again.
Approximately 22% 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, savory aromas and flavors 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 for aging, with the remaining wine aged in tight-grained new French oak barrels. The use of neutral and tighter-grained barrels helps to preserve the unique character of the wine itself.
The colour is deep purple with ruby highlights. Ripe cherry and plum aromas are complemented by earthy undercurrents of smoky cocoa and cola, and highlighted by traces of citrus blossom and lemon. A very smooth mouthfeel glides into a long silky finish with flavors of red cherry and blackberry, hints of toasted vanilla, and a tantalizing slate element.