Specializing in Bringing a Taste of Wine Country to San Clemente
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2011
Super Kung Fu Girl! More depth and complexity than ever. Apricot, kumquat, nectarine and lime leaves. A great mid-palate intensity with a long, long minerally finish.
From among the multitude of inexpensive Charles Smith wines he showed me only his 2011 Riesling Kung Fu Girl and I simply could not find time to explore that range further. Despite its near ubiquity in U.S. markets, I had not tasted any previous installment of this Smith hit - generically-labeled, but in fact sourced entirely from 25-year-old vines in caliche- and basalt-ridden Evergreen Vineyard, 1,300 feet above sea level and overlooking the Columbia in the Ancient Lakes region (north of the Frenchman Hills Royal Slope). To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be rank understatement. I was disarmed, delighted, and amazed at the distinctively delicious performance this wine gives, not to mention its mind-boggling value. Almost as incredible is this wine's production volume of 65,000 cases (So I'll assume, notwithstanding Smith's explication of mega-assemblage, that not all bottles or releases of Kung Fu Girl taste identical; that said, I did control for - and confirmed - my enthusiastic opinion with a second bottle of 2011 from a different market.) Delectable scents of basswood (Germans would say "linden flower") mingle with honeydew melon, white peach, and lime that go on to render the palate sorbet-like in its combination of succulent richness and sheer cooling refreshment. The balance of acidity and sweetness (from 18 grams of residual sugar) is perfectly judged to support the aforementioned impression and - with the help of a lick of salt, mineral dust, and citrus zests - advances an invigorating, ultra-luscious and lip-smackingly lingering finish. Whether you need to drink this up over the next 12-18 months I can't say from experience but I very much doubt it. (Not that cellaring will be on many purchasers' minds.) Smith says his sensibility for Riesling was honed on the Mittelrhein in the 1990s - that being the source nearest his then base of Copenhagen - and he certainly took-away some serious artisanal capital! Sounding a theme familiar from the Old World as well, he credits extreme diurnal temperature swings in the vineyard with this wine's strikingly successful balance and overall quality. If you are interested in the future of Riesling; Washington State wine; wine value; or wine for the masses, this represents a huge glass of Hope you can drain with a grin to Charles Smith's health.Score: 90, David Schildknecht, December 2012
Fresh and lively, this is off-dry, but with tangy balance to the pineapple and lime flavors, lingering on the finish. Drink now through 2015.Score: 89, Harvey Steiman, November 2012
All sizes are 750mL unless otherwise noted.
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Wine Enthusiast Magazine is a lifestyle magazine covering wine, food, spirits, travel and entertaining topics. It was founded in 1988 by Adam and Sybil Strum and reaches 686,000 readers. Its wine ratings, conducted by reviewers in major wine-producing areas of the world, are considered an influential gauge for consumers and professionals in the wine industry.
BeerAdvocate is an organization founded by brothers Todd and Jason Alström. The mission, as stated on their website, is to "Respect Beer". BeerAdvocate also has a full-color monthly magazine. It includes various articles written by, and concerning, craft brewers (both amateur and professional). The brothers also write for various journals, including Boston's Weekly Dig.
Wine and Spirits is America's practical guide to the straightforward, enlightened enjoyment of fine wine and and premium spirits. We have for 18 years served customers and marketers alike with a lively mix of wine reviews, features, profiles, food and wine pairings, new product introductions, travel pieces, history, opinion and wine business news.
Burghound.com was the first of its kind to offer specialized, and more importantly, exhaustive coverage of a specific wine region. The first Issue was released in January of 2001 and there are now subscribers in more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states. Allen Meadows spends over four months a year in Burgundy and visits more than 300 domaines during that time.
James is one of the world’s leading authorities on Australian wine, matching intelligent, honest reviews with unparalleled knowledge of, and passion for, the wine industry.
The Bottle Shop wine store in Spring Lake, New Jersey, is owned by the Murray family, who have been wine merchants in Monmouth County since 1972. Tom and Marie Murray converted a small liquor store on the Jersey Shore into a vintage wine, cheese and gourmet food shop; an endeavor reported in the New York Times in the summer of 1974. Today, their three children are continuing the tradition...
At OC Wine Mart, we are redefining your neighborhood wine, liquor & convenience store. We have a wine specialist on board who will gladly help you find the best wine for your particular occasion, whether it’s for a special dinner party, a gift, or just the right wine to pair with food, to take an everyday meal to the next level.
For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions.
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I rate wines using the 100-points scale. I have used this point system for close to 25 years. I still believe it is the simplest way to rate a wine, with its origins from grade school in the United States. A wine that I rate 90 points or more is outstanding (A), and worth buying. If I rate a wine 95 points or more (A+), it is a must buy.
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Homepage for wine writer, Neal Martin's, "Diary of a Wine Writer".
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Malt Advocate magazine is America's leading whisky magazine. It's the number one source for whisky information, education and entertainment for whisky enthusiasts.
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The Wine Front is an independent review site for consumers. It is a subscriber-only service and has been since it started in 2002. It’s run by Gary Walsh, Campbell Mattinson and Mike Bennie. Each year thousands of new wine reviews and comments are published here. All wines are given a score out of 100 and a ‘best drinking’ window.
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Since launching in May 2013 Vinous has become one the fastest growing wine content websites in the world. Regular features include comprehensive reviews of new releases from Italy, California, Champagne and Burgundy, vertical tastings and retrospectives, in-depth videos shot on location, Vinous Favorites - our top picks under $25 - and Vinous Table, where we profile our top eating and drinking destinations.
ChampagneGuide.net is the web's most comprehensive guide to the wines and wine producers of Champagne. This online guide features profiles of over 160 champagne producers, from renowned négociant houses to small grower estates.
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible is the world's leading whisky guide. Each edition contains roughly 4,500 detailed, professionally analysed and easy to understand tasting notes on the world's leading and lesser known whiskies.
Whisky Advocate magazine is America's leading whisky magazine. The #1 source for whisky information, education & entertainment for whisky enthusiasts.
Decanter magazine is - quite simply - the world’s best wine magazine. Read in over 90 countries, Decanter is required reading for everyone with an interest in wine - from amateur enthusiast to serious collector.
World-renowned wine authority and Master of Wine delivers her tasting notes, wine news, intelligent and courteous members' forum, and fine wine writing aplenty plus exclusive online access to The Oxford Companion to Wine.
THE TASTING PANEL magazine is the most widely circulated trade publication in the beverage industry, reaching an audience of thousands of key decision-makers every month and growing on an international scale.
Beverage Dynamics is the largest national magazine dedicated to the needs of the off-premise beverage alcohol retailer.
PinotReport is written exclusively about Western Pinot Noir.
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We do our best to hand pick the wines we carry and deliver them to you at a great everyday price. Whether you are looking for a everyday dinner wine or a special occasion wine, our staff will meet your needs.
The San Diego International Wine Competition takes place in San Diego, California and the director is nationally syndicated wine columnist Robert Whitley.
The International Wine Review publishes in-depth tasting reports on the world of wine for wine professionals and others deeply involved in wine.