in the garage of his modest family home, down the road from Walla Walla
Vintners and the local community college, Charles Smith's "K Vintners" is
dedicated to making the best Syrah in the world. Along with his friend
Christophe Baron, of Cayuse fame, Charles is striving to create the
most interesting, complex, intriguing Syrahs possible.
K Vintners Winery
And he just might be succeeding.
Charles Smith is both owner and winemaker
at K Vintners and previously lived in Scandanavia. Originally from
Northern California, her has been involved with wine professionally
and personnally his whole life. Currrently K Vintners is producing
wine from 3 different viticultural zones: Red Mountain, Columbia Valley
and the Walla Walla Valley. Each of these areas are proving to be unique
and impressive for the viticulture of Syrah.
In April '02 K Vintners planted two seperate
blocks of vineyards to Syrah adjacent to the winery in the rocky dry
creek beds that run through K Vintners property. The winery produces
small lots of single vineyard Syrah, with production level is at 2000
cases per year, which is divided between five wines.
The "K" Syrahs all show a
great deal of terroir in their flavors. Most of the winery's production
is very small lot single vineyard Syrah, with a second label, "The
Magnificent Wine Company" producing some blends.
The K Syrah Morrison Lane 01 $45
is full of herbal notes, with lavender, violets, fresh dried grass
and thyme in the nose. Big fruit is well integrated with more herbal
and gamey notes in the flavors, and the finish is exceptionally smooth,
yet shows good tannic structure.
The K Syrah "End of the
Road" 02 $30 shows a very different profile from the
Morrison. Its nose is dominated by fresh pipe tobacco, cedar, and
rich warm spice, with flavors of intense black plum, black cherry,
licorice, and pie spices. A unique hint of violets completes the
finish. A fascinating wine.
The Magnificent Wine Company
Merlot 02 $20 is made from K Vintner's prized "En Cerise
Vineyard" fruit, and is made with Bordeaux styled intensity.
The wine is richly meaty and big, with a lot of tannic backbone and
structure. No wimpy wine here, this is a big, darkly colored, hearty
wine to stand up to venison or cassoulet.
K Vintners' Vineyard
More about Charles Smith. Reviews, tasting notes, and
Charles Smith Wines:
Kung Fu Girl
The Walla Walla Region