Charles Smith Lawrence Vineyard Viognier 2011
Viognier from Columbia Valley, Washington
Single vineyard Viognier from the stoney hills above Royal City. Focused and fresh. Flavors of dried confectionary fruit - mango, papaya, pineapple, guava. Beeswax and beguiling texture pierced with amazing minerality through a long expansive and exotic finish.
The Wine Advocate - "Also brilliant and one of the top Viogniers made in Washington State, the 2011 Viognier Charles Smith comes from the Lawrence Vineyard, which is located just north of the Royal Slope, at an elevation of 1,450 feet. Barrel-fermented in 10% new French oak and going through full malolactic, it's a knockout effort that will give a top flight Condrieu a run for its money (actually, if price is factored in, this most likely wins hands down). Beautifully aromatic with brioche, apricot, toast and white peach all emerging from the glass, it hits the palate with a medium to full-bodied, decadently textured mouthfeel that never seems heavy or cumbersome, yet delivers awesome richness and depth. Enjoy this knockout white over the coming handful of years."
Wine Spectator - "Polished, expressive and well-detailed, offering honeyed pear and spice flavors on a sleek frame. This has richness and a refreshing finish. "
Charles Smith Winery
First there was K Vintners, then the Magnificent Wine Company and now winemaker Charles Smith brings you his latest revelation. Charles Smith Wines: The Modernist Project is a response to how people generally consume wine today, that is immediately…as in immediately after being purchased at a market, restaurant or bar, to be drunk straight away. Wine in this category is typically either simple, or is a wine that would be much better a few years down the road. 'Modernist Project' wines are about putting as much into the bottle as possible. The intent is to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with typicity with regards to variety—that is merlot that tastes like merlot—and to the vineyard—wine that tastes like where it was grown. The wines are full of flavor, balanced, and true to their place of origin. View all Charles Smith Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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1 rating, 1 with reviewRon Blachman - Berkeley, CA49/15/2014
Quality cork. Medium straw-gold, medium bodied, leggy. Nice nose, pretty good size even when a bit chilled: spiced apple, cinnamon, cedar, a hint of smoke, with a bit of riesling; exotic and very nice. Good flavors and balance, pretty big and mouth-filling; good acid with fruit to carry it off; a bit of a lingering finish. Nice to drink now, could hold up to five years (good cork helps!). I don't expect a lot of improvement with time but no decline, either. This is a lovely, luscious wine. You can find wines as good for less money but if you love variety and can afford it I strongly advise you give this a try. It's still less expensive than it's French counterparts. I had it with sweetbreads and chantrelles and it was perfect!
- Pair With
- Roast fowl
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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