2013 Charles Smith "Kung Fu Girl" Columbia Valley Riesling

SKU #1160108 91 points Wine Spectator

 Crisp and sleek, with juicy, expansive nectarine and peach flavors that play against citrusy acidity, finishing with zing and a sense of softness that lets the finish keep singing. Drink now through 2020. 128,806 cases made.-H.S.

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Clean, fresh and incredibly pure, the 2013 Charles Smith Riesling Kung Fu Girl is shockingly good given the price (and the volume, as they produce a massive amount of this cuvee). Lychee, citrus, mint and classic minerality all show here, and it’s medium-bodied, beautifully balanced and finishes cleanly, with perfectly integrated acidity and only subtle sweetness. Enjoy this rock star effort over the coming year or two. (JD)  (6/ 2014)

K&L Notes

If you haven't tried it, Charles Smith's Kung Fu Girl Riesling packs more excitement into an under-$10 bottle than most people would dream possible. The 2012 vintage was a smash hit here at K&L, and while three 90-point reviews and a fourth-consecutive "Best Buy" designation from Wine Spectator certainly didn't hurt, sometimes a wine is just right for what people have been missing. It's a delight on its own, but the food pairing versatility of a Riesling of this style is perhaps unmatched. Characteristics of white peach, apricot, fuji apple, and lime reverberate on the palate with a long and minerally finish. The grapes are sourced from the sustainably farmed Evergreen Vineyard perched high above the Columbia River, and this attention to viticulture and site-specificity realizes a generous wine with excellent varietal expression that tastes a lot more expensive than it is.

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Price: $9.99

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By: James Knight |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/28/2014  | Send Email
I like Riesling with a little something to it, you know, a little steely, limey, slightly diesel-stinky crunchy toasty marmalade to it; I like South Australian Riesling. The Brooks 2009 Willamette Valley that we had a while back, that was nice. I've hesitated to check out the Kung Fu Girl for years, because, you know, hip label, but what's it really got? Surprisingly a lot. Peach and pineapple fruit, yes, and maybe a little golden raisin, but a right limey seriousness to it. I wouldn't be surprised if this got more interesting in two years but it's delicious now; a little off-dry but totally balanced.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Riesling

- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 12