Charles Smith can be a polarizing figure. From his wild mane to his off the wall antics, Mr Smith and his brand is a hand in the face to the stuffy and pompous of the wine community. To me, Charles Smith and K Vintners represent many things right with the evolution of wine. Charles and the brands he has created have helped to bring wine to the attention of a new and younger generation while still focusing on his passions of a quality product.
Boisterous and larger than life Charles Smith spent the 90’s managing rock bands in Scandinavia. His love of wining and dining eventually led him to a passion for wine. In 1999 he moved to the US and after driving through Walla Walla met a young Frenchman and wine maker who sparked a passion to make his own wine. In December 2001 the first K Syrah was released.
Over the years Charles has build and evolved the brand to include some iconic labels including HOUSE wines, Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Velvet Devil Merlot and more. Much of his brand includes the iconic and dramatic black and white label. In my beginning days of wine blogging and drinking, the Velvet Devil Merlot often made my list of top wines under $12. After selling both HOUSE and the Modernist brands to Precept Wine Company, Charles moved his focus to create regional and varietal specific wines to showcase Washington’s diversity.
You will now find the Casa Smith VINO brand showcasing Italian Varieties, Wines of Substance with Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc as well as the bold K Vintners brands. Charles’ wines have received 98 95 point or better scores and has been recognized as wine maker of the year two different times. Two Charles Smith wines were on the Wine Enthusiast 2017 Top 100 list; #2 and #16
Our tasting flight for the month will focus on two from his Substance line, three from the Casa Smith line and one K Vintners product.