Land to hand; vineyard to bottle. Two awesome Washington wines by Charles Smith.
Charles Smith, KUNG FU GIRL RIESLING 2015
Land: Evergreen Vineyard
Hand: 100% Riesling
Evergreen Vineyard was planted in 1998 and stretches along steep cliffs above the Columbia River in the state’s newest AVA, Ancient Lakes. This wine is consistently well made but I must say the 2015 is even better. It’s both fresh and tangy with a very pure fruit nose with fine minerality and fresh apple/nectarine skin aromas. The palate is equally lively with plenty of acidity to carry the fruit and define the wine’s edges in the mouth. Apples, pears and limes dominate its sweet fruit flavours. Best with a favourite curry or barbecue ribs.
~ 90 PTS. Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun, March 16, 2018
This popular Riesling has been a dependable drop for what seems like forever. Those white floral notes on the nose are intoxicating off the bat, lifted by lime zest and fresh-sliced quince. The juicy palate carries an armload of both Granny Smith and Ambrosia apples, a smidge of buckwheat honey, and muddled lemon. The fruit is well concentrated, and the (off-dry) finish goes long. For those fearful of Riesling being too sweet, there’s no need for concern. Generous acidity keeps everything lively and balanced, and there’s a core of minerality, allowing solid structure.
~ Kurtis Kolt, Wines of Washington Cross the Border Well, The Georgia Straight, February 21, 2018
Charles Smith, the mad-vintner of Washington State, has arguably done more to popularize good, affordable riesling than anyone else with this label (its year-in-year-out success was in-part responsible for Constellation’s $120,000,000 purchase of this and four other Smith labels). And to be fair, you often can buy it outside of the VIWF [ Vancouver International Wine Fest]—it’s actually widely available—but if you haven’t tried it you’re missing out on what may be one of the 3 or 4 most consistently great wine deals in the world. The world!
- TOP 100 of 2016 Wine Spectator
- 90 PTS Wine Spectator
- 90 PTS Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
- 90 PTS Wine Enthusiast
B.C. Liquor Stores, $19.99, here
Serving Suggestion: Sushi
Charles Smith, THE VELVET DEVIL MERLOT 2015
Land: Sundance, Art Den Hoed, Goose Ridge, Weyns, Hawk, Oasis, Purple Sage
Hand: Red Blend
The 2015 seems a touch turned down in intensity, which is a good thing. It is also less sweet on the palate, complimented by an oak regime that has been dialed back. Look for open, savoury black fruit aromas with earthy red currant notes. The blend is 84/9/3/2/2 Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and other varieties all aged 10 months in 30 per cent new oak. The attack is glossy smooth but with the sugar dialed back the fruit is more prominent and the finish more sapid. A new direction, and we like it. Try this with barbecue pork or beef.
~ 88 POINTS; Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun, March 2, 2018
Serving Suggestion: Grilled Steak
B.C. Liquor Stores,$19.99, here