Wines Of Substance 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Charles Smith, Columbia Valley
Superstar winemaker Charles Smith saw a great opportunity when the Wines of Substance label became available. The Wine Spectator reported that "He purchased the brand in 2013 and has re-thought the idea. "If you're making a brand called Wines of Substance, shouldn't the wines be substantial?" He asked. He's making the new wines in the same style as his own Charles Smith and K Vintners, using open-top fermentors and indigenous yeast to ferment grapes from good vineyards. He has no plans to purchase bulk wine." This 2014 Cab is sourced from just 2 premium vineyards; Goose Ridge, a south-facing site adjacent to Red Mountain, planted in 1999 that receives less than 8 inches of rainfall annually. It consistently yields fruit of exceptional character and complexity; and Frenchman Hills, about a 30-minute drive north of the Wahluke Slope. It's a cooler site, partly because of its higher elevation at 1650 feet. Grapes here hang longer without accumulating excessive sugar (and thus, higher alcohols) while still managing to retain beautiful acidity. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; it macerated 42 days on the skins and was aged 12 months on the lees in 50% new French oak barrels. The Wine Advocate did a barrel tasting and scored it 90-92 saying "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon should be just as good as the 2013. Seeing all native yeast, 42 days on skins, 12 months in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it offers classic plum and blackberry fruit intermixed with ample licorice, toasted bread and violet aromas and flavors. Concentrated, balanced and the real deal, buy it by the case and drink it over the coming 4-5 years."
Good value in a Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a solid, if unremarkable wine from Charles Smith. By unremarkable, I mean it's not going to change your life but it's good value in a Cabernet Sauvignon and good for that steak dinner cooked on the grill. Worth buying again, yes.