Charles Smith is a marketing guru. I’ll admit that I was somewhat skeptical about this project, which focuses on Italian varietals in Washington State. I’ve had wonderful bottlings of Sangio from Leonetti and but I generally have been underwhelmed with the potential of these varietals in Washington. These new release wines from Casa Smith were surprisingly serious, as the fruit and the winemaking were impressive.
I really enjoyed the 2014 Casa Smith ‘Porsocspino’ Primitivo (WWB, 90) which was dense and polished, showcasing this hot vintage. The best wine I sampled (and also the best Washington Barbera I have ever sampled) was the 2012 Casa Smith ‘Jack’s Vineyard’ Barbera (WWB, 92). This wine is serious and displays a gorgeous range of blue and black fruit flavors, showing generous texture and viscosity. All these wines are priced right. Learn more about Casa Smith at http://www.charlessmithwines.com/casasmith/ Here are the great new wines from Casa Smith.
2015 Charles Smith ‘Vino’ Moscato- This wine begins with aromatics of white peach, honeysuckle, and Pazzaz apple. This leads to sweet flavors of lychee, baked pear and hints of orange blossom with Lemoncello accents. Despite the sweetness there is nice structure. Drink 2016-2020- 89
2015 Charles Smith ‘Vino’ Rosso Red Wine- A blend of 75% Cabernet with 25% Sangiovese, the wine opens with an aromatic profile of baking spices, cassis, anise, leather and black cherry. This leads to flavors reminiscent of black olive, wild blackberry preserves, coffee grounds and allspice. With medium tannins and nice balance, this impresses for the price. Drink 2016-2020- 89
2014 Casa Smith ‘Cinghiale’ Sangiovese- Sourced from the Wahluke Slope, the wine begins with aromatics reminiscent of red cherry, black tea, smoke and leather elements. There are flavors of crushed wet stone, leather, black tea and boysenberry jam. With some polished tannins, this wine has a lovely mouthfeel. Drink 2016-2021- 89
2014 Casa Smith ‘Cervo’ Barbera- Sourced from the esteemed Northridge Vineyard, the wine begins with aromas of black plum, black tea, mulberry and red cherry. There are flavors of black plum, anise, and baking spices. Forward and rich, this will drink beautifully into the next decade. Drink 2016-2021- 90
2014 Casa Smith ‘Porscospino’ Primitivo- This Zinfandel wine opens with aromas of crème de cassis, anise, blackberry jam and suggestions of sour cherry. There are rich flavors of baking spices, tobacco leaf, red cherry and red raspberry. This shows nice structure and has a plush mouthfeel. Drink 2016-2021- 90
2012 Casa Smith ‘Jack’s Vineyard’ Barbera- A dense and layered treat, this Barbera wine begins with aromas of blueberry compote, boysenberry preserves, mocha and red cherry with dill. There are rich flavors of pomegranate, red bell pepper, blueberry compote and coffee ground accents. With a dense mouthfeel and excellent viscosity, this is a one of a kind Washington wine. Drink 2016-2024- 92