Yesterday afternoon, I got into my Volvo and drove down to Everything Wine on Marine Drive in North Vancouver. My Dad had forwarded me an email saying that Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines, K Vintners, Sixto, Wines of Substance, etc. was going to be making an appearance pouring his wine between 4 PM – 6 PM.
I arrived at 3:56 PM. I eagerly looked around and I felt a bit like I was sneaking around backstage at a rock concert. Smith had not yet arrived but his wine and image was displayed prominently in the store. I made my way over to the tasting counter and got out my tasting book and pen and wasted some time trying not to look entirely excited by taking random photos.
I met a delightful fellow blogger, Allison Wallace of Advinetures.ca and we connected over this amazing thing called wine. Charles Smith arrived around 4:30 PM. He wasted no time and came directly over to the tasting table and shook the hands of the staff pouring his wine. I asked if he was OK with his photo being taken. He said, ‘Sure. Let’s be in it together.’ Allison graciously snapped a shot of Mr. Smith and I – I reciprocated and then we all went back to the table and got down to tasting.
Charles Smith Wines – quality wines that are made to drink now.
Eve Chardonnay 2012 $24.49 – intrigued by the peach and nutty flavours of this wine. Very fresh but structured. Nice layer of minerality.
Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2014 $21.49 – beautifully off-dry with nice acid. Floral, lemon zest, fresh nectarines and wet stone. One of my favs.
Velvet Devil Merlot 2013 $21.49 – so darn good…we are talking black cherries, fresh plum, sweet chewing tobacco, a whiff of vanilla and a solid finish. Hello handsome.
Boom Boom Syrah 2013 $29.49 – violets, dusting of black pepper, black currant. Yes please.
K Vintner Wines – Charles Smiths’ first winery located in the Blue Mountains of Walla Walla, Washington. High end wine, hand picked grapes and uses native yeasts for fermentation. Cellar-worthy and collector wines.
The Boy 2011 $72.99 – mostly Grenache with 10% Mourvèdre, this wine is a beautiful light ruby colour. Loads of fresh strawberry and raspberry with dashes of white pepper and good alcohol. I asked Smith where his inspiration came from in naming this wine. He said ‘The Boy’ is from a song lyric from French singer Serge Gainsbourg “I am the boy/Who can enjoy/Invisibility.” The song lyric is a reference from Ulysses by James Joyce.
The Deal 2011 $65.49 – 100% Syrah from the Sundance Vineyard. Delicious flavours of black currant, sun-drenched raspberry, smoke, grilled meat and vanilla – elegant with a punch.
The Hidden 2010 $113.49 – 100% Syrah from four clones, single vineyard, co-fermented whole cluster. Northridge Vineyard is made up of basalt soils. Colour is stunning, flavour is full and luscious – one damn decadent wine. Full of tobacco, dried herbs, blackberry fruit and black pepper…Here is a wine for collectors – pure and clean with complexity, balance and good acid. Delicious.
Smith is cool – genuine, engaging, humble and he makes exceptional wine. He has three tasting rooms – one called Jet City beside an air strip in Seattle and two in Walla Walla, Washington.
If you haven’t tried Smiths’ wines – I would suggest starting with Velvet Devil Merlot or Kung Fu Girl Riesling. They are available at Everything Wine.