Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews

Charles Smith Washington State 2015 Riesling, Chardonnay and Syrah

29 December,2017

Charles Smith is a self-taught Washington State American winemaker who began masking wine in the Walla Walla Valley in 2001 releasing 330 cases of a 1999 vintage Syrah. Charles developed his passion for wine during his years of wining and dining whilst on the road managing rock bands and concert tours. He created the ‘House Wine’ brand which was sold to Precept Wines in 2006, and in that year created ‘Charles Smith Wines’ themed as ‘The Modernist Project’ which focusses on making wines that show variety and vineyard, and are ready to be enjoyed immediately on release. The names of the wines are designed to be memorable, and the striking labelling designed by friend Rikke Korff, who has also advised on other visual aspects of the ‘Charles Smith Wines operation. The wines are distributed in New Zealand by Constellation Brands. I find them of a consistent high quality across the varietals, each with points of interest


Charles Smith ‘Kung Fu Girl’ Washington State Riesling 2015

Riesling from USA


Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant in proportion with tightly bound aromas of lime fruit with white florals and secondary toasty development notes, and hints of minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the fruit flavours of limes and white florals are up-front and form an elegant, well-concentrated core. The mouthfeel is bright and lively with good acid vibrancy and poise, and the wine flows with good linearity, with subtle, fine-grained phenolic textures, carrying to a lingering, thirst-quenching finish of limes, toast and minerals. This is an elegantly concentrated dry Riesling with lime, floral and toasty secondary development, on a vibrant, refreshing palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4 years. Fruit from the ‘Evergreen’ vineyard, Colombia Valley, WBP and fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 1.4 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $24.99

Charles Smith ‘Eve’ Washington State Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from USA


Even straw-yellow colour with slight green-gold hues, paler edged. The nose is gentle in expression with moderately deep and rich fruit aromas of ripe citrus and yellow stonefruits, and balanced spicy and nutty oak-like elements adding detail and interest. The aromatics are fresh and bright. Medium-full bodied, the palate is slender and finely concentrated with taut citrus and stonefruit flavours, along with spice and nutty elements forming a tight core. The mouthfeel is refreshing and lively with bright acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line, leading to a taut, crisp finish. This is a slender and elegantly concentrated Chardonnay with citrus and stonefruit flavours along with subtle spice and nutty detail on a brisk palate. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3 years. Fruit from the ‘Evergreen’ vineyard, WBP and partially indigenous yeast fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 6 months on lees with 20% MLF. 17.5-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $24.99

Charles Smith ‘Boom Boom!’ Washington State Syrah 2015

Syrah from USA


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with black hues. The nose is full and well-packed with concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry fruit harmoniously layered with notes of earth and minerals, along with herbs and subtle whole bunch stalk elements, unfolding dark raspberries and liquorice notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has deep and concentrated flavours of ripe blackberries with dark herbs, aniseed, earth and mineral notes, along with black pepper and spices. The flavours are up-front and show a complexing savouriness, and are enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity, and underlined by fine, grainy tannin extraction. The grip carries the wine lingering, nuanced finish of blackberries, chocolate and herbs. This is an up-=front Syrah with flavours of blackberries, earth, herbs and minerals, with black pepper, liquorice and spices on a grainy-textured, brisk palate. Serve with grilled and roasted red meats and casseroles over the next 4-5 years. A blend of 96% Syrah, 3% Viognier and 1% Grenache from 5 sites, co-fermented with 30% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months in seasoned oak. 17.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $24.99

Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny