Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Charles Smith Wines 2014 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Washington State


Charles Smith is an artisan and a pioneer in the wine world. Twice recognized as Winemaker of the Year, he has set the wine world on its ear with incredible wines at hard to believe prices.


Wine Pick For A Non-Dangerous Party


When Green Dragon informed me we were hosting a party for her fellow Red Cross volunteers, I felt reassured yet anxious. I was reassured because everyone there would know CPR and also could probably use the Heimlich Maneuver if I started choking on an appetizer. A party like this can also be a challenge.

When you don't know the party goers, you need to aim for wine that is pleasing to both the savvy wine lover as well as someone who only has wine occasionally. Picking a wine that checks both boxes can be difficult.

Enter Charles Smith

Charles Smith has made a career out of crafting outstanding Washington State wines at befuddling prices. He created the House Wine brand which had delicious yet affordable wines, such as House Red, in unpretentious packaging. He also is the man behind the outstanding K Syrah wines.

Another value gem is Kung Fu Girl Riesling. This is a wine that is a taste treat for Riesling lovers. We're part of that gang, and so I grabbed a couple bottles for the party.

On the red side, I picked up two bottles of Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir. It's hard to go wrong with Pinot from Willamette.

A Kung Fu Kick Of Flavor

My favorite style of wine is probably dry Riesling. Lately my palate has been drifting! I've been exploring Rieslings with a touch of sweetness but balanced with nice acidity.

In the wine shop Green Dragon had previously mentioned that Kung Fu Girl sounded like a nonsensical name for wine. What better reason for me to pick up two bottles? Especially when the price was $12.99 each.

Grapes for this wine come from one of Washington State's newest AVAs, Ancient Lakes. It is 100% Riesling and is whole cluster pressed, meaning grapes aren't destemmed before the juice is pressed. This adds complexity to the wine.

This has all the hallmarks of beautiful Riesling: swirling green apple and citrus. The body is smooth and sleek and there is a touch of minerality.

Very important to me is the acidity, which balances out the sweetness. This has only 1.45% residual sugar to give it an off dry finish. It is wonderfully balanced and a delicious surprise at this price point.

Kung Fu Girl has delivered a kick to the head of overpriced wines! Chuck Norris would be proud.

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