2014 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted out of barrel, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon should be just as good as the 2013. Seeing all native yeast, 42 days on skins, 12 months in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it offers classic plum and blackberry fruit intermixed with ample licorice, toasted bread and violet aromas and flavors. Concentrated, balanced and the real deal, buy it by the case and drink it over the coming 4-5 years. Readers need to check out these latest Charles Smith offerings released under the Substance label. These are all handpicked, see native ferments and aging in French oak barrels (the white sees some concrete), so while they sell for a song, they're legit.
This 100% varietal wine from Goose Ridge and Frenchman Hills vineyards provides immediate appeal, with fresh aromas of blackberry, black currant and licorice. The flavors are full and don’t hold back, with firm lightly grainy tannins providing support. It still needs some time to stretch it legs. Give it an hour decant or wait until after 2017.
(there are 50,000 cases of this $17 item, aged for 12 months in 40% new French oak): Bright dark red with ruby tones. Black cherry, brown spices and menthol on the nose; suggests a wide range of ripeness but some Cabernet from the cool, high-altitude Frenchman Hills vineyard--from which Smith also makes a top Chardonnay under his Sixto label--provides energy. There's a slightly porty quality to the middle palate but this wine boasts terrific fruit intensity for its price. Finishes with substantial, slightly dusty, building tannins and a light herbal quality. Charles Smith plans to increase production of this wine to 100,000 cases in vintage 2015. (ST)