Winery: Renowned, self-taught pioneer winemaker Charles Smith is the founder and winemaker behind Charles Smith Family wines. His “kick ass attitude and bold packaging has earned him the moniker ‘rock star’ of Washington State Syrah”. With his many diverse brands [K Vintners, Wines of Substance, Sixto, Charles & Charles, Secco and Vino] he is able to offer a wide variety of wines varying in cost from budget friendly to highly rated, single vineyard Syrahs in the $100 range. Within all of his labels, Smith strives to craft sustainably farmed wines that “are full of flavor, balanced, and true to place of origin”.
Created in 2006, the Charles Smith Wines label was themed as “The Modernist Project”. Focusing on how people tend to drink wine today, which is immediately, the goal is to create approachable wines “to be enjoyed now, but with true typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard”. A fantastic concept; a Syrah that tastes like a Syrah from Washington State!
Modern with a sassy edge, Charles Smith labels are renowned for their clean black and white artwork created by Charles Smith and artist Rikke Korffsure. Super eye catching and easily recognizable, the style has become synonymous with K Vintners and Charles Smith.
Philosophy: “It’s just wine, drink it.”
Charles Smith Wines ‘The Velvet Devil’ Merlot Washington State 2014
Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the following sustainably farmed vineyards: Sundance, Art Den Hoed, Goose Ridge, Weyns, Hawk, Oasis and Purple Sage. Whole berry fermentation with partial native yeasts. Aged for 10 months on the lees in 30% new French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: Bright garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, warm summer woods and crushed black peppercorn. A spicy edge to the ripe, plush fruit [think blackberry, cherry, wild strawberry]. Appropriately named, velvety tannins fuse with summer woods and spice on the lengthy, plush finish. Fantastic on its own, versatile at the table.
94% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc
$12 [average price]
Charles Smith Wines ‘Boom Boom!’ Syrah Washington State 2014
Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the following sustainably farmed vineyards: Art Den Hoed, Pheasant, Weyns, Arete and Gamache. 30% whole cluster fermentation together with the Viognier. Aged on the lees in old oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of wild berry jam, vanilla and crushed pink peppercorn. Exuding fruit & spice, with cherry, black cherry, blueberry, plum, vanilla and a trace of roasted herbs wrapped around a pepper spice backbone. Silky tannins compliment dark chocolate dusted fruit on the woodsy finish. An elegant edge to the well balanced fruit and spice, each glass will disappear rather swiftly.
97% Syrah, 3% Viognier
$17 [average price]
Charles Smith Wines ‘Chateau Smith’ Cabernet Sauvignon Washington State 2014
Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the following sustainably farmed vineyards: Art Den Hood, Hawk, Roza Hills, Wahluke Slope, Don Talcott and Clifton Bluff. Whole berry fermentation with native yeasts. Aged on the lees for 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with inviting aromas of roasted jalapenos, cherry, fresh herbs, vanilla and toasted oak. Plump cherry, blackberry and red currant fruits are balanced by a bright acidity. Velvety tannins underscore earth, tobacco and pink peppercorn. The rich fruit follows thru to the plush, lengthy finish, joining vanilla and subtle toasted oak. Well structured, with a robust character, an engaging companion to a wide variety of dishes.
96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot
$19 [average price]
Samples submitted for review purpose.