Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Huge news for Washington wine fans!

Looks like Quilceda Creek isn't the only winery that can boast at parties about producing a 100 point wine. Charles Smith Wines, owned and made by "rock star" winemaker Charles Smith of K Vintners fame, has now joined that exclusive company. Paul Gregutt, longtime Seattle Times Wine Guy and the reviewer for the NW in the Wine Enthusiast, has bestowed a lofty 100 point score on the 2006 Royal City Syrah. Here is the link to Paul's review:


As someone who has enjoyed several K Vintners wines but wasn't a huge fan of the three highly scored Charles Smith Wines -- the Heart, the Skull, and Old Bones -- it will be interesting to give this wine a shot. He is now allowing people on his mailing list to order it for $80 now, with delivery in the fall. I'm still deciding whether or not to purchase said wine. I do know one thing though...the wine wsill be polarizing, I'm sure. Congrats Charles on the 100!!


  1. WWG,I tasted the RC last month. I bought 4. Its AWESOME.


  2. "I do know one thing though...the wine will be polarizing, I'm sure."

    Dear WWG,

    Why do you think this wine will be polarizing? Can't you give Mr. Charles Smith a little credit here? After all, Heart, Skull, and Old Bones were rated 97, 98, and 99, respectively by RP. Paul Gregutt, as you know, has NEVER rated a wine 100-- Even Quilceda's first perfect RP vintages (02 and 03) only earned 97 points from Mr. Gregutt. And Gregutt is now saying the Royal City Syrah is BETTER than even Old Bones, an RP 99! So, after Jay Miller lays down a 100 on the RC and it becomes the first WA wine to earn TWO perfect scores, I submit that it will be the opposite of polarizing. And what if Harvey Steiman gives this new pup a 96 or higher? PG sure thinks both critics will love it... So, instead of being polarizing, I think a better designation is likely to be "history-making" for the state of WA and perhaps even New World Syrah as a whole!

  3. Mike,
    Good to hear you liked it. It certainly is getting tons of buzz from some of the wine boards. I'm sure I'll eventually cave and buy a 3-pack!

  4. Jimbo,
    All "polarizing" means is that people will either love it or hate it and if you spend any time on some of the wine boards you'll see that K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines, and even my favorite, Cayuse, tend to be polarizing. I'm a big fan of Charles -- you must not have read my congratulations to him at the end. Not sure where you get the idea that I need to give him credit...

  5. WWG,

    Don't EVER patronize me. I went to an ivy league college and law school, and knew the definition of the word "polarizing" much earlier in my life than you, I am certain. I am aware that some non-independent minded bloggers may consider K/Charles Smith and Cayuse "polarizing," and I am challenging the very roots of that notion. I don't think it is accurate and I don't think you should stimulate such ridiculous fodder. If anybody "hates" a wine rated 100 by Paul Gregutt, they probably don't know wine very well. It is inaccurate, misleading, and downright ignorant to fall into the trap of labeling great wines as "polarizing" simply because other people who spend "any time on some of the wine boards" label them as such. (You just got served.)

  6. Jimbo,
    For someone who claims to have an Ivy League education you certainly don't read very well. By that, I mean, you don't seem to comprehend what I've written. It doesn't take a non-independent blogger to make an observation that Charles' and Christophe's wines can be polarizing. I have made that observation more than once. I've met many people who love their wines and many who don't. Seems to be the definition of polarizing to me.

    Of course someone can "hate" a wine given a 100 point rating by Paul Gregutt, it's called an opinion. Not sure which world you live in but the one I reside in contains people who have every right to have differing opinions. This coming from someone who's so passionate about Cayuse that people often think I'm obsessed. Great wine is polarizing or it wouldn't generate the passion or fanaticism that it does. I think you need to get off your supposed Ivy League horse and mingle with the common folk every now and again.

  7. WWG,

    Let me guess, you think Quilceda's Cab is "polarizing" too? You'd probably call Screaming Eagle and Colgin cabs "polarizing" as well? You probably would even call a First Growth Bordeaux "polarizing" if you could ever afford a bottle.

    Granted, even the greatest bottle of wine in the history of the world may not be liked by 1 in 10,000 tasters. It may even not be liked by 1 in 100 tasters. But that does not make a wine "polarizing." The word polarizing implies that a large % of people fall into each camp, e.g., 60 people like the wine and 40 people do not. Clearly, you did not learn this at your state school.

    Perhaps you have singled WA's top two Syrah producers out (one of which you are perhaps unhealthily "obsessed" with) and labeled one as "polarizing" because Charles Smith does not fit high society's traditional notions of what a winemaker should look like. (I'll admit, I judged his appearance originally too, but after trying the Old Bones, I could care less if Charles Smith was a martian!) I can't think of any other reason for your being so sure that the Royal City Syrah is going to be "polarizing." Labeling a yet unreleased wine as such simply because a tiny minority of bitter bloggers (like yourself) disliked the Old Bones/Heart/Skull is inaccurate. Moreover, it is against the scientific method. Perhaps a better set of adjectives and descriptors would be "loved by almost all, and not loved, but still mildly enjoyed, by a very tiny few." Furthermore, I highly doubt anyone actually "hated" the Old Bones/Heart/Skull.

    Alas, arguing with a simpleton such as yourself is a waste of my time. And for the record, I will not get off of my high Ivy League horse and mingle with you laypeople and plebians because you people disgust me and offend my senses. Therefore, I shall hereafter cease to adorn your blog with my insights and brilliance.

  8. Jimbo,
    When did I ever mention what Charles Smith looks like? I happen to think he looks cool and am a huge fan of his wines. Just wasn't blown away by the Heart/Skull/Old Bones. I think you just might be getting your panties in too much of a twist. Maybe the partners at your law firm (you are obviously just an associate) need to pile on a little more work so you can vent your frustration about being a self-important, self-absorbed boob there and not over something as inconsequential as the word polarizing. My simpleton friends and I will certainly get a good laugh at your posts as we drink some PBR, which we simpletons do. Cheers!

  9. HA! This thread has got to be a joke...

  10. I found this entry after reading a discussion board about "polarizing" experiences with this exact wine. Quite an "interesting" conversation going on here.

    I'd love to see this Jimbo fellow in a blind tasting. Take away the scores and labels, and suddenly someone might not be so arrogant. It's much easier when you can copy the famous guy with a better palate.

    Anyway, you're right, WWG. When something gets scored highly, it will be polarizing. If not love/hate, there will be a divide along the lines of perfect/not perfect for a 100 point score. Or deserved/not deserved for really any 90+ point wine.

  11. Hey Jimbo,

    1) Your name is Jimbo (enough said), 2) Their is some shit 1st growth bordeaux that should have been ripped out years ago, 3) your pretentiousness is why no one in the wine industry will ever take you seriously; have fun in the retail world, people like you are why they even bother scoring wines (you can't think for yourself). Good work on that Ivy league thing though, it really worked out for Skilling.