- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) - A wine from Walla Walla - Chester-Kidder red blend 2009 - was on the menu along with wines from California and Virginia for the White House state dinner for French President Francois Hollande.

Chester-Kidder is one of seven signature wines under the umbrella of Long Shadows, which was founded in 2003 by former Chateau Ste. Michelle president Allen Shoup to bring international winemakers to the Columbia Valley.

Chester-Kidder winemaker Gilles Nicault (jill ni-KOH’) who is French, was informed a month ago his wine had been selected for the state dinner but he was asked to keep quiet about it until Tuesday when he could finally say, “That’s awesome!”

He described the wine being served to the presidents as a “smooth, refined wine with a lot of flavor and complexity.”

It’s a blend of 50 percent cabernet sauvignon mixed with syrah and petit verdot grapes all grown in the Columbia Valley around Walla Walla and the Horse Heaven Hills. It’s aged 30 months in a barrel.

The 2009 vintage has sold out, but the similar 2010 is still available at the winery and shops that sell premium wines, Nicault said.

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