Thursday, March 12, 2009

2006 Charles Smith Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Smith

Vintage: 2006
Type: Red
Producer: Charles Smith
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Designation: Chateau Smith
Country: USA
Region: Washington
SubRegion: Columbia Valley
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Price: $20.99

The Little Wooden Guy says "temper your enthusiasm." Yes, it's Cabernet for less than $20, and it is not an oak and vanilla brown sugar mess. On the other hand, and he really hates to say this because it is not bad wine, it is also just not particularly special. Sure, it is hard to find decent Cabernet at the this price point, but there are so many other good wines out there that deliver a bigger bang for the buck. Perhaps the thing to do, or at least this is how the Little Wooden Guy feels, the thing to do is save Cabernet for a splurge, and buy Syrah, or Shiraz, or a good Rhone blend, or something from South Africa, or South America, or any of a thousand other options, when you're looking for an under $20 wine.

Night One

The nose is light. The first thing you notice is what is not there, rather than what is. This is an under-$20 Cabernet that does not reek of oak and vanilla. Instead, fruit is front and center. The fruit is not overpowering or jammy. Instead, it is light and clean. Blackcurrants and blackberries are joined by some eucalyptus.

The palate is also fruit-driven, but not jammy. Blackcurrant, blackberry and elderberry open the attack. it is joined by light notes of eucalyptus and peppermint. The finish is a little short.

Night Two

The nose remains light on Night Two. There are just hints of fruit.

The palate is fruity, sweeter than on Night One. Blueberry, rather than blackberry, is dominant, with a secondary flavor of blackberries. Cedar makes an appearance on the mid-palate. There is also a tiny hint, half a drop at the most, of vanilla. The finish is mid-length and sweet. Tannins are smooth and balanced by some acidity, but not quite enough to balance out the sweet fruit.

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