Charles Smith is a self taught winemaker and a true pioneer in the wine world. He is recognized by Wine & Spirits Magazine as one of the “Best new wineries of the last ten years”, and many of you may know his wines simply by the fun labels. Charles Smith Wines are true to their grapes, and his goal within winemaking was to produce wine that was to be consumed without delay. He stays true to the grape varietal, and the wines are really very lovely.
Washington State has 14 AVA’s (geographical wine growing region), including some of the more well known ones such as, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, and Horse Haven Hills, and Lake Chelan. This well known wine producing region is located in the North West corner of the United States, and although is still considered a young wine growing region, it’s certainly one of largest producing states.
Charles Smith produces a line of wines utilizing grapes that grow well in Washington State. The grapes include: Riesling, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Kung Fu Girl Riesling was one of the first wines I tasted by
Charles Smith and was instantly captivated by it’s citrus blossom, stone fruit, and mineral notes in the wine that pair beautifully with sushi, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.
The Eve Chardonnay is great if you enjoy the grape varietal itself without all the oak and butter. This chardonnay is crisp with aromas of pear, guava, yellow apple, and mineral notes. If you enjoy a fruit forward but dry wine with nice roundness and balanced acidity, this is a great go to for outdoor entertaining this summer!
For red drinkers, Washington State produces some very nice red wines. Charles Smith again, stays true to the grape varietal so when tasting his Boom Boom Syrah, you will notice intense pepper, blackberry, savory herbs, and tannins. This wine is actually 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier, which helps with tannins and overall structure of the wine. This wine is great for bbq’s, camping trips, and evenings by the fire pit with plenty of grilled meats and stews.
If you’re into more of a fruit forward and dry, but jammy wine, The Velvet Devil may just be the wine for you. It is made up of 94% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc, but absolutely expresses all those lovely blackberry, plum, tobacco, and dark fruit notes that merlot offers. The other grape varietals add some complexity and backbone to the wine to give it a great personality.
For those of you who enjoy Washington State red wines, i’m sure you’ve had a cabernet sauvignon from this region then. Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon, is produced with 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Merlot, and is a dark wine with rich notes of chocolate, cherry, and tobacco. This red is seductive with a long, intense finish that is perfect with beef, lamb, and even bolognese.
Have you tried Washington State wines yet? If not, you’re missing out on a great wine producing region. I think the Charles Smith wines are really such a great value for the quality of the wines themselves. The wines have won many awards in both Wine Enthusiast as well as Wine Spectator and are easily pair-able with your favorite summer foods, outdoor activities, everything in between.