2013 K Vintners "River Rock" Walla Walla Valley Syrah (Elsewhere $45)
Broad and open-textured, offering juicy, pear-accented blackberry, licorice and black tea flavors, finishing harmoniously and with pinpoint focus. Has presence and depth without great weight. Best from 2017 through 2023.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A wine that just screams "The Rocks" is the 2013 Syrah River Rock Vineyard and it is about as classic a representation of this terrific terroir located around the town of Milton Freewater as I could imagine. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, focused and with fine, polished tannin, it has tons of pepper, bloody meats, olive and ripe dark fruits all soaring from the glass. I like it today, but it will keep 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)
Praise for the producer from Wine Advocate: "As usual, this was a massive lineup by Washington's wild man, Charles Smith. Despite the larger-than-life persona, these wines are dead serious and are always some of the best I'm able to taste from the state. All of the Rhone varieties see 100% whole cluster, native fermentations and aging in mostly neutral French oak. At the top end, both the 2012 Royal City Syrah and 2012 Klein Syrah flirted with perfection, but the whole lineup is stacked with both quality and value." (JD, 06/2015)