2014 K Vintners "Milbrandt" Wahluke Slope Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Probably the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, the 2014 Syrah Milbrandt Vineyard is 100% Syrah, fermented with 100% whole clusters, that spent 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels and puncheons. This beauty is overflowing with notes of cassis, caramelized meats, licorice and spice, which gives way to a full-bodied, concentrated, superbly textured Syrah that can be enjoyed today, or cellared for a 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. (JD)
Bright, dark red. Dark cherry, red berries, sexy smoke and underbrush on the nose. Sweet and lightly saline on the palate, showing moderate lift to its fruit flavors of cherry and dark raspberry. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins. In the absence of Charles Smith, I sampled his extensive line-up of K Vintners wines in his airy new facility on the northern edge of Boeing Field in Seattle with Brennon Leighton, who makes wines under his own B. Leighton label and is co-winemaker with Smith on the Sixto wines. (Leighton works for Smith and is also a partner on several of their labels.) Leighton emphasized that all of Smith’s contracts for the K wines are by the acre, which is still the exception in Washington. Leighton noted that the 2013s are a bit coarser than the 2012s. Two thousand fourteen was an even warmer vintage, but Smith "made adjustments in the vineyards, leaving larger canopies and getting more shade on the fruit." This has long been a fascinating collection of wines encompassing a wide range of distinctive terroirs. (ST)
100% Syrah from the Clifton Hills and Northridge Vineyards on the Wahluke Slope. An ideal pairing with Hearty beef stews and Pasta Bolognese. According to the winery: "Textbook K Syrah. THIS IS IT! Game, black olive, crushed stone and a bouquet of fresh flowers thrown in. WOW!"