Charles Smith Wines – It’s just wine… drink it
The wine industry is well renowned for its elitist approach and quality is often measured on exclusivity, but one self- taught winemaker continues to break this stigma with his modern approach and rebellious rock and roll streak.
Charles Smith grew up in Northwest America, in his early 20’s he moved to Scandinavia to; as he puts it “chase a piece of ass “. There he found himself managing rock bands and concert tours throughout Europe for nine years, and it was during this time of wining and dining on the road that he developed his love and passion for wine.
Upon returning to the US in 1999 Charles opened a wine shop before a trip to the Walla Walla Valley and a chance meeting with a French winemaker eventually convinced Charles to make the move to Walla Walla and produce his own Syrah (aka Shiraz) wine.
In 2001 the launch of his first minimalist approach, foot-stomped, oak barrel aged Syrah wine quickly captured attention for it’s high quality and unique characteristics. Today, his latest series of wines dubbed Charles Smith The Modernist Project breaks traditions and offers a range of very approachable, easy drinking, fun wines with label artwork to match.
Kung Fu Girl – The original wine that kicked off The Modernist Project (the label artwork was conceived over glasses of this Riesling with artist Rikke Korff while watching Kill Bill) An off-dry Riesling, has a little bit of sweetness, high acidity which leaves the mouth dry. Featuring a lot of tropical fruit flavours and a bit of zip on opening the bottle. Best enjoyed on warm day out on a patio, overlooking the ocean, eating spicy food (the sweetness in the Riesling and the absence of tanins matches well with spicy food).
Boom Boom – 100% Syrah, aged 4-5 months in French oak, is a smooth, rich, full bodied wine with an elegant finish. It’s best enjoyed listening to heavy metal music (because a big and rich wine which lives up to its name and needs a big sound to match it).
The Velvet Devil – A sexy and smooth Merlot produced in a cool climate, making it a lot smoother and richer than the average Merlot. The full ripeness of the fruit brings out great berry characteristics, with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon added for a full body. It’s best enjoyed with your partner before slipping into something more comfortable.
The secret to Charle’s success comes down to the team effort involved in ensuring that the select vineyards he works closely with are supported and encouraged to produce the best quality grapes. His “good fruit – good wine” ethos goes hand in hand with his minimalistic approach to winemaking. The brand itself aims to drop all pretenses and simply share quality wine to be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.
To spread the Charles Smith philosophy, come and get a taste of Charles Smith The Modernist Project wines this Sunday March 9th at the Nixon Project launch party, 35 Foster St Surry Hills from 12- 9pm.
By Maria Maung with special thanks to Matt Irwin of Trembath & Taylor