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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. www.charlessmithwines.com 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

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Charles Smith ‘Kung Fu Girl’ Washington State Riesling 2015

Riesling from USA

17.5/20

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

17.5-/20

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

17.5+/20

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

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