Notes: 2009 Charles Smith Wines Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon

April Virtual Tasting Notes

Last night was the monthly Virtual Tasting. These tastings are arrranged and moderated by Sean Sullivan of Washington Wine Report. The wine he selected for April was the 2009 Charles Smith, Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon. For an hour we tasted and tweeted about this wine. It was a lot of fun and I have new twitter friends I am following and a few new followers myself. Check Sean's website for details on the May Virtual Tasting, consider yourself invited. Following are my condensed notes from the twitter tasting.

We followed @wawinereport on twitter and used the hashtag #charlessmith for this tasting.

Almost ready to open my bottle of 2009 Chateau Smith.

I opened my bottle at 6:55pm, swirled the wine around, stuck my nose in the glass and was greeted by a cloud of taffy and wine barrel dust. I waited until 7:00pm to taste the wine, distinct cherry flavor, it was dry. We then proceeded to tweet about the screw cap closure and the label design. I have grown fond of screw caps because it's easy to open or close and you do not have to worry about Corked Wine (shudder). Consensus, real cork has a mystique and style most of us miss. The label, some like it, it is easy to recognize,  it stands out, others not so much - "too simple". We then talked about the cost of the wine, I paid $14, others paid $15 up to $19 a bottle. Availability varied, some found the 2009 Chateau Smith, others found the 2008 and some found the 2010 already on store shelves. This wine was available locally for our Florida tweeters as well. Consensus, it is priced right for the market.

Twitter and Tweetdeck were lagging a lot last night, so it was a little awkward keeping on track with the topics of discussion. A little frustrating, but we managed.

Back to the wine. After 25 minutes I smelled root-beer, with an undertone of coffee. Great color, deep and bright, on this wine. After 30 minutes, for me the nose was dusty blackberry, with earthy notes and a hint of green pepper. One of the tweeters a few minutes later described it as "cherry liqueur and vanilla on a dry finish." I think that was pretty accurate. This wine changed a lot over the hour, aromas and flavors shifted. I enjoyed the way the wine changed over time and it had a pleasant grip between teeth and gums.

Most of us rated this a "buy" at the end of our hour long twitter tasting. Recommended.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petit Verdot, 6% Syrah
ABV: 14.5%
Closure: Screw cap
Retail price: $20 (I paid $14 locally)

Charles Smith Wines
World Headquarters and Tasting Room - Open Daily
35 South Spokane Street, Walla Walla, WA
Phone: 509-526-5230

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Charles Smith posing with me at his party June 2010.
I hope you can join the next Virtual Tasting in May. Consider yourself invited. Many thanks to Sean Sullivan for arranging another great twitter wine tasting.


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