Grapelive: Wine of the Day December 21, 2017

2014 K Vintners, Syrah “Motor City Kitty” Washington State.
The Charles Smith K Vintners “M*C*K Syrah is a rock and roll red that proves both powerful and wonderfully textural in feel with sharp detailing and extra length, and while tannic by nature there is a lot to love in this vintage with black raspberry, sweet currant and dark chocolate covered bacon bits! This lush Syrah perfectly illustrates the house style and the terroir, it’s bold frame is balance by perfectly reasonable 14% natural alcohol and inner acidity and an electric boost of energy matching it’s sweet fruited palate. Washington State is home to magical Syrah, with Cayuse, Betz and Gramercy Cellars (one of my personal favorites) being two of the higher profile examples, but many more are filling the scene with great wines like Reynvaan, Horsepower, Dunham Delmas, Waters, Mark Ryan, Trust, Syncline, Gorman, Rotie, Sleight of Hand, Amavi and Efeste all offering amazing quality. Charles Smith’s K Vintners reminds me of either Guigal or Jaboulet with his amazing array of bottlings from entry level wines to top single vineyard Crus, with lots of seriously good stuff in the middle, like this well rounded Motor City Kitty Syrah, which was fermented using native yeasts, with a long 43 days on the skins and aged 22 months in French puncheons, 30% new, from a Walla Walla vineyard planted to a Tablas Creek clone, 100% Syrah and grown on old river bed with large cobbles and well draining rocky soils. This 2014 maintained it’s natural acidity allowing a real fresh verve to stay in this alluring and richly flavored wine that shows ripe boysenberry, minty plum, blueberry compote, sweet black cherry and dense creme de cassis as well as subtle vanilla wood notes, hints of acacia flowers, graphite, bitter coco, anise and that candied bacon bits mentioned above. The evolution in the glass is graceful and more refined than I had imagined, there is plenty of life here and I think in many ways it will be even more rewarding in 3 to 5 years in bottle, it’s not exactly what I expected, but thrilling none the less with very impressive detail and a very worthy performance.
($49 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive