You didn’t know Sammy Hagar made Wine?? He doesn’t. Former rock band manager now Winemaker from Northern California does..in Washington State. Owner-winemaker Charles Smith with his big hair, kick ass attitude and bold packaging arrived in the Walla Walla Valley following eleven years in Scandinavia managing rock bands. He has been involved with wine personally and professionally his entire life. He first started with K-Vintners and then The Magnificent Wine Company where he made his big bucks with the following Wine pictured here.
He sold The Magnificent Wine Company in the late 90’s to Precept Brands in Washington State. He took that money and started a winery called “Charles Smith Wines” He has followed his mission statement since it’s inception. He was producing non-snobbish, quality wines from Columbia Valley and Walla Walla Valley with cool names, cool labels, at everyday drinking prices. When I was a Wine Buyer I had Huge Displays of all his wines and got a Big WOW from all of my customers because they couldn’t believe the quality for these $15 wines. Here are some of his Labels:
The Wine I wanted to review was his 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon that he calls “Chateau Smith” Wine Spectator just awarded the 2009 Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 91 Points and I paid $18 retail for the bottle. This is the review from Harvey Steinman who covers Pacific Northwest Wines for Wine Spectator Magazine: SCORE 91 Points Supple and inviting, with complex flavors of dark berries and plum shaded with hints of bacon and star anise. The finish rolls along unimpeded by the polished tannins. Drink now through 2016. 10,000 cases made. –HS
First I find it very interesting that the reviewer mentioned “Hints Of Bacon” because that was the attraction to me years ago about all of Charles Smith Wines were that they had that pleasing aroma of bacon notes in the background. My review of the 2009 Chateau Smith is 90 Points. Pretty aromas of black raspberries and cassis the flavors of sweet plums, dark berries and a hint of licorice and white pepper spices just glide along the palate without a bitter tannin whatsoever. This is a great everyday drinking Washington Cabernet
I urge you all who always ask for a Cabernet Sauvignon that doesn’t require a Hunk Of Beef or any food to drink at an affordable price, to seek out this Wine at your local Retailer. It is delicious. I have been a fan of all Charles Smith’s projects and this Cabernet just validates why. Remember Napa Cab Fans, this is just one of the many California born and raised winery owners/winemakers who have left the State of California and chose to set up shop where I too believe is the best place in the USA to make Wine, Washington State. This whole project strayed away from the overpriced, over oaked, glitzy brand names in Napa and proves you can get amazing wines for under $20 with simple black and white labels. I think my message to you about wine is similar to Charles Smith’s Slogan Statement on his Webpage: “IT’S JUST BOOZE—– DRINK IT”!!!!