NGW: Charles Smith Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2009   Leave a comment

Washington State has been coming on for some years now.  The Columbia Valley especially.  Today’s wine grabbed our attention with a high rating to price ratio from one of the wine mags of record.  You know the one… 

As for wine ratings, and especially the 100 point scale goes, I have to admit that I struggle with it because it does not reflect the way that most people drink wine.  First, let’s face it, most people will not drop the serious coin that’s often needed to get one of those 93+ point wines.  So, for them, the 100 point scale is truly meaningless.  Second, most of the time, you know in the first few sips whether you like something or not.  My dad has the simplest approach when it comes to wine– (a) Don’t Like It, (b) Like It and (c) Like It a Lot.  The rest of the process is really just a refinement and confirmation of those first impressions.  

Another thing that I do not like about the 100 point scale, and indeed my own 4 star system is the fact that it places wines from across all regions on equal footing.  The presumption being that you could readily exchange one for another at any point in tme.  What wines I drink at any point in time are a function of my mood, food, and ‘hood– how I feel, what I’m eating and where I am.  And with the star system, there is more flexibility to accommodate mood, food & ‘hood.  That’s one reason I try to include some information about speciifc subregions and varietals.   

Charles Smith Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 ($14).  Disarmingly Dark in a back alley kind of style, I half-expected to be mugged by this wine.  A whiff of cocoa and herbs and the scent of freshly fallen leaves in late October.  As expected, the fruit is dark and brooding.  Ripe black plum and a touch of spice.  And while this has the structure, with a touch of grippiness from the tannins, it just seems a bit too heavy and extracted.  I noticed that one reviewer rated this at 91 points.  So, who is checking the checkers?  Me, that’s who.  While a good wine, I think that rating is overly generous.  As you know we shun the 100 point scale around here in favor of a more flexible standard that does not have the veneer of arithmetic certitude. Your palate is not mine and vice versa.  So who will check me?  YOU will.  Tastes twice.  Rated **

Washington State Wine Map

And what can you pair with something like this?  I’m thinking of this a great pizza wine.  But you had better put some serious meat and garlic on that pizza.  I’m thinking about a pizza that requires you to wear your Big Boy pants– sausage, meatball, garlic, pepperoni.  The same sartorial advice applies to you ladies out there.

I can’t speak for the this green-shirted little guy, but my boy in the photo at the top of this page doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  No-Guilt Wednesday (NGW) is not about compromising on quality.  It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank ($15 or less), eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.

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Posted March 27, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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