2008 Charles Smith "Chateau Smith" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1065435

Charles Smith is like the Sammy Hagar of wine, and not just because his curly locks are reminiscent of the one-time Van Halen front man. Like Hagar, Smith is more memorable for his contributions to the world of alcoholic libations than he is his 11 years managing rock bands in Scandinavia. (For those of you not in the know, Hagar may be better remembered for Cabo Wabo premium Tequila than for anything he did with Van Halen.) He first started K Vintners, then the Magnificent Wine Company and now he has the eponymous Charles Smith label, which is dedicated to making wines that pack a punch now, rather than wines that need cellaring to be enjoyed. The Chateau Smith Columbia Valley Cab deftly pulls this off. It's a super-smooth cherry and rose-petal scented Cab with cassis, plum and vanilla flavors that are all harmoniously balanced, while still showing a distinct sense of place. Rock on!

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Price: $17.99

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 By: CH |  Review Date: 8/5/2011 
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This is mostly 'cigar box' on the palette, aka fake wood chip flavor. Somewhat green nose, signaling unripe fruit. Not a good value. Was hard to match with a steak, which should be a sin for any cab.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.