Charles & Charles 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah (Post No. 35 Blend)

 

by Phillip Koh.

Wine Profile:

Charles & Charles 2015 Syrah Post No. 35 Blend.

Varietal:  cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah, 70/30 Red blend

Appellation:  Columbia valley (WA), Columbia Valley, Washington, United States

Winery:   Charles & Charles

Alcohol: 13.9 %

Category: Red blend

Price: $12-13

Summary:

a Big, Bold mixture of earth wood and fruit and even floral/herbal. A quality wine at a moderate price.

Background:

I was shopping for Washington State wines so I can participate on a Washington State Wine – Themed #WiningHourChat on a recent Tuesday on Twitter, and this one jumped out at me as one of the only few I could find at the local Publix grocery store I was at.  After the purchase I did quick research at home and found out this is the collaboration between Charles Smith (2009 Food & Wine’s Winemaker of the Year) and Charles Bieler, hence the name Charles & Charles.  The label threw me off for a minute, but it is very eye-catching and different so it helped spark my curiosity. According to the website bielerandsmith.com, “The label is an abstract play on the American Flag done by the well loved and historic Nashville, TN poster shop, Hatch Show Print.” I also found out this was listed as one of the Best Values by the Wine Spectator magazine and scored 89 points there.  I wrote my tasting notes below before I found out the other scores.

I am glad I decided to pick up this wine, because it turned out to be a tasty surprise!

Sight:

Dark black cherry, red/black rose and/or some purple. medium-dark

Smell:

Big black fruit, bold like cab and syrah forward heavy followed by intense earth oak and floral and warm baking spices and herbal layers. Juicy and ripe and semi-sweet.  Complex layers of complimentary scents and plenty of depth to the aroma. Smells sweeter than dry. Spicy but not too spicy and warmer like baking spices and the holidays. Lots of oak and big body. Big bold layers with potency, the wine is just mature enough to make a bold statement, so taste fresh, could age for a few years but it smells very delicious and perfectly ripe (or slightly under-ripe) and fine to drink right now. (and not over ripe) Big bouquet with lots of purple flowers deep dark red rose on top of that, baking spices, smells absolutely delicious.

Taste:

It doesn’t hit as powerful up front as I thought It will. It tasted thin at first almost, and it actually has a noticeably jammy undertone / body reminiscent of ripe plum flesh but it’s not out of control and balanced out beautifully by the fine but prominent tannin that adds structure and texture as well as that fine spices (black and white pepper) tart in the mouth, juicy but not overly so.

Between very dry and off dry, the big and slightly jammy fruit gives impression of sugar and sweetness however it’s really limited as the astringency takes over and the jammyness doesn’t go over the top.

Big body, and rather bright acidity overall, lively red-black and black fruits, like raspberry, ripe red and black cherry.  It has both the bold spiciness from the syrah and the voluptuous black fruit / black currant from the cabernet sauvignon.

Drinks like: bold black fruity like classic Rodney Strong Sonoma/Napa Cab, but with juicier more acid and astringent profile (from the blend) and spicier.

Would pair well with:

In a full meal setting, it would pair well with Fatty hearty pork roasts, sauteed or grilled/bbq’d pork belly or beef roast/slow-roast or lamb stew. French food.  In a non-full meal setting, it’ll pair well with Strong cheeses and smoked/cured meats and sausages.

Foodnwineblog.com’s Rating:

Has our solid recommendation,

4.25 out of 5 wine bottles for quality

4.5 out of 5 wine bottles for value (quality per dollar)

as the blend is basically a fine wine at a budget friendly price,  which means it packs a punch in the value department. 2015 Charles & Chales Post No 35. Blend demonstrates plenty of seriousness in quality wine making without the constraint of needing to be extra fine nor extra fancy. translated to a worthy effort and satisfying result and significant achievement of quality and signature in that price range in my opinion.

A bold, intense higher quality red-wine that won’t break your bank, but still feels fresh and foresty like the Northwest region of the United States where the wine is from.

Would recommend most to:

  1. dry wine lover who doesn’t mind a splash of juiciness (and a noticeable but subtle hint of sweetness)
  2. Definitely for devout Red Wine Lovers that don’t touch white wines unless they are worthy.
  3. people that are more experienced or knowledgeable in wine, as this is not necessarily an over friendly wine in the tasting department, as it’s dry, strong, and astringent. This is the type of wine that casual Moscato drinker may hate to drink and put it aside vowing to never drink the red wines again. Hey but then again, maybe I’m being overly pessimistic lol.
  4. People planning to pair with fatty and rich foods, this one has tannin and that astringency and a bit of that definite spicy punch that would just do very well to cleanse / neutralize the tastebuds and the pallet.

Fact Sheet on the wine from the Winery (link to pdf file) :

 Charles-Charles-2015-Cabernet-Blend-Fact-Sheet





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