Charles & Charles Rose 2019
The color is pale salmon with flashes of a coppery pink. The aromatics lead with notes of wild raspberry and cherry, giving in to bright citrus, Herbs de Provence and lavender. There’s a strong note of rose petal as well. All this carries through on a broad, almost creamy mid-palate and finally a tangy bright finish. Sourced from high elevation vineyards in Columbia Valley.
Blend: 71% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Counoise
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Syrah (71%) takes the lead on this wine, with the rest Grenache, Mourvèdre and bits of Cabernet Sauvignon and Counoise. Substantially lighter in color than recent vintages, the aromas are reductive out of the gate. They open to reveal pleasing notes of watermelon, strawberry and herb. The palate is light, brisk and focused, with plenty of acidity to keep the interest high. It only gets better with time open.
A collaboration founded in 2008 between Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2014 Winemaker of the year, Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, Bieler Père et Fils & Gotham Project). We make just five wines together. The Rosé, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend, a Merlot blend, a Chardonnay and a single vineyard Riesling.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.