"Firm, focused and distinctive, with an orange peel and tea leaf character that weaves through the blackberry and plum flavors. A hint of pear adds interest to the supple finish. Best from 2018 through 2023. -H.S." (WS)
"More Northern Rhone in style, with lots of red and black fruits, olive, peppered meats and sweet fruit, the 2013 Syrah Rock Garden is seamless, downright sexy and layered on the palate, with a voluptuous, yet classy and focused texture. Like all of the Rhone blends from this estate, it was fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged mostly in neutral barrels and puncheons. Give bottles a year or two and enjoy over the following decade.
These latest releases from Charles Smith check in at the top of the pyramid and are flat out incredible wines that I wish every reader could taste. Readers should also check out the new label, Wines of Substance, which are also included in this report. Going forward, the K Vintners label will be for the Rhone inspired blends, and all Bordeaux blends will be moved to the Wines of Substance label." (WA)
The vineyards we work with are farmed using the most up to date sustainable practices.
Rock Garden: Planted in 2006, in the cobblestones of the rocks in Walla Walla and Freewater with very cobbly loam soil. With high density planting at six by four feet, both Phelps and Tablas Creek clones are planted in the ten-acre site. This is a beautiful spot that produces very distinctive wines.
The warmest vintage since 2003 cooled off just in time for harvest. The resulting wines were less likely to tip over into overripe favors or high alcohol levels, and picking proceeded at a normal pace. Total tonnage was up about 5 percent over 2012, a record for the state. 2013 made us thank Sweet Baby Jesus that our white wine vineyards are cool sites at higher elevation. The very warm vintage cooled down in mid-September allowing us to pick at the perfect moment in the first week of October. This gave us generous full favored wine while still keeping focus.
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