Wine Spectator 95
Impressive for its structure and polish, a wine that seamlessly marries Cabernet and Syrah while retaining the best of both, showing blackberry, black olive and smoky cured meat flavors, with lots of cracked pepper. Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink now through 2030. 713 cases made.
Jeb Dunnuck 94
There are around 700 cases of this killer wine, which has a big, sappy nose of white pepper, spice box, green tobacco, and cedar pencil. It shows more and more fruit with time in the glass, is medium to full-bodied, and has a great mid-palate and ultra-fine tannins. While the Cabernet component certainly dominates, theres plenty of Syrah pepperiness. I like it today, yet it should evolve gracefully for 10-15 years with no issues.
Varietal Breakdown: 80 Cabernet Sauvignon; 20 Syrah
Appellation: Walla Walla Valley
Vineyard(s): River Rock Vineyard (100)
Production: 2.4 tons per acre Native yeast 100 whole berry fermentation (Cab) 100 whole cluster fermentation (Syrah) 40 days on skins 52 new French oak barriques 22 months barrel-aged on lees
2017 was a fantastic year for making wine with a cool spring and a fair amount of rain. Washington had an ideal spring for heathy vines. The moderate temperatures during summer were perfect for small clusters and yet delayed veraison into the fall where we had a consistent ripening season that allowed us to hang the fruit for perfect tannin and flavor without losing acidity or acquiring too much alcohol. Overall it was a vintage to remember.
Charles SmithView all from Charles Smith
Charles Smith Wines: the Modernist Project focuses on the way people generally consume wine today, immediately! Wine in this category is typically either simple, or a wine that would be much better a few years down the road. Charles Smith Wines are wines that are about putting as much into the bottle as possible. The intent is to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with typicity of variety (i.e., merlot that tastes like merlot) and to the vineyard (wine that tastes like where it was grown). The wines are full of flavor, balanced, and true to place of origin.
For Charles Smith Wines the fruit is sourced from some of Washington State's finest vineyards. Greatest attention is paid to those growers that practice sustainable farming methods.
Owner-winemaker Charles Smith with his big hair, kick ass attitude and bold packaging has earned the moniker "rock star" of Washington State Syrah. Charles Smith arrived in the Walla Walla Valley following 11 years in Scandinavia managing rock bands. Originally from northern California, he has been involved with wine personally and professionally his entire life. In 2009 Food & Wine Magazine recognized Charles as "Winemaker of the Year."