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Tenet Wines is the result of a collaboration between Chateau Ste Michelle, the oldest winery in Washington State, and two of France 's most prominent Rhône Valley winemakers. The resulting wines showcase Syrah and other typical grapes from Rhône Valley, developing their full potential in the Washington State terroir. Exceptional, refined and balanced wines combining the... Read more

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The story of Tenet Wines began after the 2012 harvest, following the meeting of Bob Bertheau, winemaker of Château Ste Michelle, in the state of Washington in the USA, and two geniuses of the Rhone Valley: Michel Gassier, famous winemaker, and Philippe Cambie, elected best oenologist in the world by Robert Parker in 2010. The latter chose to collaborate with this American estate to discover a new facet of the Syrah grape variety and other grape varieties from the Rhône Valley (Mourvèdre and Grenache in particular). The state of Washington is indeed an exceptional terroir, particularly favourable to the cultivation of these grape varieties.

Syrah from a new perspective

Tenet Wines, c’est une autre facette de la Syrah. En effet, les vignerons à l’origine de cette marque ont complètement repensé leur approche pour que ce cépage soit une véritable expression des terroirs. Il permet de produire des vins équilibrés, dynamiques et à l’image du terroir de Washington. Plantés sur les sols de cette région viticole américaine, les cépages de la Vallée du Rhône produisent des cuvées se rapprochant davantage des vins de l’Ancien Monde, plutôt que des autres vins du Nouveau Monde.


The second largest wine producer in the United States after California, Washington State is recognised as a legitimate player in the global wine market. This wine region has built its reputation on the production of white grape varieties such as Riesling. Today, however, more than 40% of its production is dedicated to red wines. Washington's vineyards are renowned for the diversity of the wines they produce thanks to a wide range of grape varieties. Among the most common grape varieties are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah for the reds. Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are the most widely planted white varieties. The vineyards are mainly located in the eastern part of the state, in the Columbia River valleys. There are 13 appellations or American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The Columbia Valley AVA, covering more than half of the vineyard area, is the largest. It also includes other sub-regions such as Yakima Valley AVA, Horse Heaven Hills AVA and Wahluke Slope AVA.

A terroir favourable to the production of quality grapes

The Columbia Valley wine region has a particularly dry, even arid climate. Indeed, the eastern part of the state is protected by the Cascade mountain range, which creates a natural barrier against oceanic influences and rain clouds. Snowmelt and the Columbia River provide the water necessary for the cultivation of vines through irrigation. In summer, temperature variations are significant with long, hot, sunny days accelerating the ripening of the berries and increasing their sugar content. The heat of the day is followed by cool nights to preserve the acidity of the grapes. The soil type is mainly volcanic and sandy, reminiscent of the AOCs of the Northern Rhône such as Hermitage or Côte-Rôtie.


Various cuvées are produced under the Tenet Wines brand:

  • The Pundit: this wine is a blend of Syrah (90%), Grenache (4%), Mourvèdre (4%) and Viognier (2%). It has a deep ruby colour with garnet highlights. Tannic and racy, this wine reveals an aromatic bouquet with accents of black fruits coated with spices and elegant floral notes. This elegance is also found in the mouth, juicy and tasty, with a long finish on silky tannins.
  • Tenet GSM: made in the traditional style of the Southern Rhône wine region, this wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes. The grapes come from some of the oldest vineyards in the Columbia Valley. On the nose, this wine offers intense and expressive aromas of ripe, sweet red fruits with spicy notes and a delicate floral touch. Rich and velvety with complex flavours, the palate finishes with a lingering length and remarkable tannin finesse.
  • Fervent: reflecting Michel Gassier's passion for the Syrah grape, this wine is distinguished by its minerality, freshness and elegance. These are characteristics found in the Syrahs of the Northern Rhône! Complex and intense, the nose reveals aromas of black plums, blood orange and mineral notes. The palate is fresh and vibrant with flavours of blueberry, boysenberry liqueur and garrigue followed by notes of cocoa and toast. This is framed by good acidity and refined tannins.