Washington Wine Club – September 2010

2008 K Vintners, The Creator
Every year, we pick one or two of Charles Smith’s elite wines for this club, and our pick for this vintage (for the first time since 2003) is The Creator. This particular blend has always been about 60% Cabernet, usually from Christophe Baron’s spectacular Cailloux or En Cerise vineyards, and 40% Syrah, first from Seven Hills and lately from Morrison Lane in Walla Walla. This year, Charles adds a substantial dollop of Cab from the Stoneridge Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, the same vineyard he used for his highly-limited Heart, Skull, Old Bones, and Royal City Syrahs. As usual, it’s rich and luscious, and would go well with rich, dark foods—steak, rib roasts and the like. The addition of the Stoneridge fruit adds to the complexity of the wine, providing ripe notes of currant and figs to go with the spiciness of the Morrison Lane Syrah and the tobacco leaf notes from Cailloux. Another winner for the former manager of Danish rock bands! And we have learned over the years that the picture on the label is not a self-portrait, but rather a religious picture that used to hang over the bar in the tavern Charles bought in Waitsburg. The wine is $51, and very limited, since only 56 cases were allocated to Seattle. Drink it over the next three years or so.

2007 Fidelitas, Columbia Valley Malbec
The label for this wine is as subdued as the Creator label is flamboyant! For those who have trouble discerning the writing on the bottle, the vineyard sources for this Malbec are all outstanding: 50% Conner Lee, 25% Stillwater Creek, and 25% Northridge. It’s one of the best Malbecs yet from Washington; it has ripe fruit and full flavor, perfectly balanced by spice and a medium-full body. The tannins are not overwhelming and the acids are in balance, making this a nice food wine. Winemaker Charlie Hoppes recommends it with Asian BBQ chicken skewers, and even has a recipe on the Fidelitas website. Charlie will finally be doing a tasting at our shop on Saturday, November 20, an event not to be missed! The wine is definitely ready to drink, although it will develop more in the next two or three years. It’s $35 and in decent supply for an elite wine.