What follows is an excerpt for the 2008 Walla Walla Holiday Barrel Tasting Report. Read the full report here.

Charles Smith’s K Vintners has long been a Walla Walla Valley favorite. Known for his rock and roll roots, his hair, and his distinctive black and white labels, Smith has also always garnered excellent reviews. K Vintners sources much of its fruit from some of the most highly regarded vineyards in the state, including a number from the vineyards of cult phenom Christophe Baron of Cayuse.

There were several factors up front that guaranteed to make this visit to the winery exceptional. The first is that K did not have its usual cheek to jowl crowd. Perhaps this was because we came a bit earlier in the day. Perhaps it was because the overall number of visitors in Walla Walla was down. Regardless, it was much easier to focus on the wines. Additionally, K gave the first extremely generous pours of the weekend where there was enough wine to smell, sip, consider, and repeat this several times without smelling an empty glass. While this means more wine gets tossed into the buckets (hopefully), it also means you can really spend a good deal of time with the wines. These wines deserved no less as they were all intense, complex, and evolving. One thing I noticed about K’s wines in particular were the fascinating variations in the bouquet when the glass was swirled and when it was not. All this combined with an excellent serving temperature (61 degrees) made these wines absolutely shine.







Viognier Columbia Valley 2007

Almost clear in color. An engaging nose with white peach and mineral hints. Not swirled tropical fruit shows through. On the taste, just of touch of sweetness and peach. A very enjoyable wine.



Syrah Milbrandt Vineyard 2006

Lots of red fruit, most notably raspberries, along with cured meat and nut aromas. Raspberries on the taste complement a very pleasing mouth feel that is plush but not overbearing. The only thing that holds this wine back is that the nose seems a bit disconnected from the taste.



Syrah Motor City Kitty 2006

Full on Kalamata olives and brine. An exceptionally smooth, even taste. 95 cases produced.



Syrah Morrison Lane Walla Walla Valley 2006

A beautiful, complex nose with black and green olives. Olive pits mix with light, layered floral aromas and anise. If it sounds strange, it is, but it works. This wine has a lot of power and depth on the taste. A remarkable variability in the aromas when it is swirled and not swirled. 257 cases produced.



Phil Lane Walla Walla Valley 2006

Nose has a lot going on with some classic Walla Walla gamey, meaty Syrah aromas. Elegant and smooth with violets on the taste. An excellent effort that is just short of a double star wine. 140 cases produced.



Ovide 2007

Wow what a crazy, funky nose! Taste has a beautiful, feminine quality to it. Will be an excellent wine. Some sulfites still seem to be showing.