Located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla (Washington State), Charles Smith opened his first winery, K Vintners, in December of 2001. The first release,1999 K Syrah from Walla Walla Valley, initiated the style of winemaking that Charles continues today: small lots of single vineyard Syrahs and field blends of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Tempranillo and Viognier, all of which are hand-picked, foot-stomped, fermented with naturally occurring yeasts and basket pressed.View Supplier Page
|Region||Columbia Valley, WA|
Apricot, peach, butterscotch and vanilla bean.
Layered tart apple and mineral.
Raw and lightly cooked shellfish like crab and prawns, steamed or grilled fish, fish patés.
Frenchman Hills was planted in 1998 and is about a 30-minute drive north of the Wahluke Slope, which is one of the warmest areas in the Columbia Valley. However, Frenchman Hills Vineyard is a cooler site, partly because of its higher elevation at 1650 feet. Because of the slightly cooler aspect, grapes hang longer without accumulating excessive sugar (and thus, higher alcohol) while still managing to retain beautiful acidity.
"The 2015 Chardonnay Frenchman Hills offers a similar rich, ripe, sexy style, with a touch more minerality as well as toasted nut notions. Deep, rich, concentrated, and opulent, yet always with a fresh style, it's another ripe, toasty, rich Chardonnay to drink over the coming 2-3 years."
"The 2015 Chardonnay Frenchman Hills Vineyard is very attractive, wafting from the glass with notes of buttered yellow orchard fruit, honeycomb, subtle spice and struck match. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, glossy and ample, with bright acids, lovely grip and tension and a chalky, flavorful finish. It’s a very compelling Washington State Chardonnay."
"Plush and graceful, with expressive pear, wax and spice accents that take on weight toward the finish. Drink now through 2021. 675 cases made."
"Crisp, yet polished and supple, with expressive baked pear aromas and a hint of brioche that opens to crisp, elegantly layered tart apple and mineral flavors that linger. Drink now through 2021. 663 cases made."
"Coming from volcanic soils and a north facing slope at 1,750 in elevation, the 2014 Chardonnay Frenchman Hills Vineyard offers terrific minerality as well as a Chablis-like style in its lemon curd and floral aromatics, medium-bodied mouthfeel, and vibrant, crisp acidity."
"(the last of these Chardonnays to be harvested, from vines planted on broken basalt soil at nearly 1,700 feet; done half in concrete and half in puncheons, 20% new): Full yellow. Aromatic nose offers apricot, peach, butterscotch and vanilla bean. Fat and sweet but with lovely grip on the palate and on the sneaky whiplash of a finish. Offers noteworthy breadth."