2014 Substance (K Vintners) "Powerline Estate" Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1331724 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The new 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Powerline is a new cuvee based around a vineyard in the southern part of Walla Walla. Harvested from tiny yields and aged in mostly neutral barrels, this full-bodied, luxuriously textured, seamless beauty gives up lots of classic Cabernet notes of creme de cassis, licorice, toasted spice and graphite. There's an undeniably sexy style here, and while it will certainly be approachable on release, my money's on it evolving gracefully for 15-20 years. 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)  (6/2016)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is 100% varietal, coming from the winery’s young estate vineyard. The aromas are bright, with notes of dried herb, cherry liqueur, anise, black tea and whole bell pepper, seeming ever so slightly dried out. The flavors are plump but still light on their feet, supported by surprisingly soft tannins for the variety. (SS)  (3/2018)

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Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/28/2017 | Send Email
​This is a full-bodied wine that exhibits beautiful plum fruit, spice, acidity that kicks, and an oak profile that is lightly present but very well integrated. What I really enjoy about the wines of this region is their ability to have so much to offer with appealing balance and restraint.

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/27/2017 | Send Email
​​Over the years, Charles Smith has been ever-changing; evolving and growing as his creative license inspires him and as the wine industry demands, but the one thing that has always stayed a constant is the commitment to quality in all of this wines. While the Substance label is fairly new to his portfolio, the wines adhere to the same surprisingly level of excellence and consistency. The Powerline Estate Cab is chock full of dark plum, creme de cassis, cocoa, licorice, clean graphite and an interesting sweet smokiness that is devoid of any char or ash. Powerful yet polished, there is an underlying verve to this wine that keeps this concentrated cuvee nimble and balanced, while still expressing the purity and intensity of fruit that all the Charles Smith wines are known for!

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/26/2017 | Send Email
Really impressed by the overall balance of this wine. Lots of plum, blackcurrant, and violet on the nose with a hint of herbs. Great core fruit, acidic backbone, round and full, but not overpowering.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/8/2017 | Send Email
Wow — serious Cabernet here. Brooding and deep on the nose, smoky, dark fruit; plum, blackcurrant, pencil lead, dusty rocks; a hint of tobacco and leather. On the palate the wine shows some redder fruit notes and toasted spice. It has lovely ripeness but is not sweet or overly extracted. Medium-full bodied with great line and length. The tannin levels are perfectly measured with the wines fruit and there is great vibrancy that suggests a long life ahead but without being hard or closed in its youth. I'm really impressed with this wine, it strikes a lovely balance delivering powerful fruit but in doing so does not obscure the varietal expression or mask Walla Walla's dusty, stony minerality.

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5