2011 Charles Smith Viognier Lawrence Vineyard (Badge Label)

Hello friends. We have a little treat today: a small parcel of Jeb Dunnuck’s best-reviewed white wine from his recent reviews for Wine Advocate, from a producer we don’t get to play with much anymore:

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

A series of trends has made it very difficult to offer K Vintners/Charles Smith wines over the past few years. Our list has grown, as has interest in Charles’ wines. And while K/CS has grown production a bit, it has not kept up with their growth in national sales. They are well-distributed and well-marketed across the US, and so we’re competing nationally for allocations, not just locally. But on occasion, we can still unearth a sweet parcel, and today is one such day.

While Charles is oft-referenced as a marketing genius, the lesser-told story is that he is a vineyard freak. Throughout his career he has raised the profile of otherwise underappreciated areas, and that is certainly true of the Royal Slope. That’s where Lawrence Vineyard is, the source of today’s Viognier. As you can see on the map, the Royal Slope (a potential future AVA, I suspect) is tucked north of the Wahluke Slope (running down from the Frenchman Hills) and south of Ancient Lakes.

Lawrence (planted in 2003) is a high-elevation site, at 1400’-1600’, composed of stony soils with high caliche content. Its location on a ridgeline gives it solid frost protection due to copious air drainage. This is a site on the climatic cusp, and those are frequently the types of places than can make profound wines. This one begins with a deeply appealing nose of peaches, cream, chalk, and ginger. The palate is full-bodied and silky-textured: a mouthfeel for red wine lovers. Creamy peaches are complemented by a lovely nuttiness, in the form of almond/marzipan notes. Despite the plushness, there is plenty of vibrancy here, thanks to the cooler 2011 vintage, which supplies streaks of balancing acid and chalky mineral. This is a pleasure bomb, complex and delicious, and very much in keeping with the house style.

The only drawback: there’s not much of this to go around. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: