I mentioned it quite some time ago now, that our old friends at Charles Smith were not only expanding production, but also bringing on a new distribution team and that they were aiming to be the new version of Mondavi…..but there’s this, this week from cleveland.com.
A taste test of Blind Devil Merlot (a Charles Smith wine) vs Rutherford Hill vs Toad Hollow, one of the largest production Sonoma names these days, said that the cheaper two options were interesting but that Rutherford Hill won the day.
There was a time in my house that this bottle of Rutherford Hill Merlot really did mean something along the lines of a fancy dinner at home. Sure, we never paid anything close to the $28 that is suggested in the article, but I think you know what I mean.
It’s a fairly classic Merlot from Napa Valley and I’d guess that Red Devil at less than half the cost, is garnering many more sales.
Basically, great for Charles Smith….they’re distributed widely enough now that they ended up in a newspaper article in Cleveland about Merlot. About 5 years ago, that simply wouldn’t have happened for any Washington wine. But, the long term question is if they can turn the folks buying that $12 wine and turning them into buyers of their $40+ wines that make up the great, long term hope for the winery. Since we shipped a K Vintners (their highest end bottles) in our first wine club shipment, I feel like I should mention this stuff as time goes on.
Yes, Charles Smith continues to increase his profile in the wider wine trade. For Washington, it’s nothing but a good thing.