Washington state winemaker Charles Smith is one of those larger-than-life figures that is making some of the best wines in the world. He was recently named Food & Wine magazine’s Winemaker of the Year for 2009, and his K Vintner’s Syrahs garner unbelievably high ratings (and big bucks).
He is also now making wines under his own name, and calls them “The Modernist Project.” These are affordable, everyday drinking wines that are packed with loads of flavor, edgy labels and — most importantly — FUN!
Washington is often overlooked as a wine region in our market. The wine growing regions have consistently great weather — nothing like rainy Seattle as they require irrigation and get plenty of sunshine.
The Kung Fu Girl Riesling ($12.99) rocks! This is not one of those cloyingly sweet Rieslings that make your teeth ache. Big flavors of peaches, limes and great minerality balance the hints of sweetness which would pair nicely with a spicy Thai dish. Smith came up with the name Kung Fu Girl while drinking Riesling and watching the cultish martial arts movie “Kill Bill.” The connection was made.
Smith made his reputation on Washington Syrah and has crafted a terrific value Syrah called Boom Boom! ($16.99). Complex and layered with black fruits and hints of lavender, this would make a great matchup with herb-crusted lamb and perfect for Easter. Smith named his Syrah Boom Boom! as an homage to a certain part of his ex-girlfriend’s anatomy. As you can see, his attention to detail is amazing.
Wild-haired Smith has found a niche in Walla Walla, Washington. After managing rock bands in Scandinavia for a number of years, he returned to the States and put all his creative energy in making Washington wines. Also highly recommended are his Eve Chardonnay ($12.99) and Velvet Devil Merlot ($12.99).
Stop by Seville’s Wine Shoppe and get turned on to the world of Charles Smith.
Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St., Pensacola. 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com.