Mission Codename It's good to be the King!
Easily one of the TOP-10 wines we ever laid our eyes and lips upon… 98 points good? Easily. And then some! Ever had an SQN? Or a Bionic Frog? Somewhere hypothetically along those lines lies this one of a kind profoundness. An iconoclastic Cab-driven Washingtonian that may as well be Californian, or French, or Martian. There absolutely is no getting enough of it.
Crystalline ruby on the rim, intense claret throughout with a deeper crimson core. Floral and fruity at once on the nose, giving violets and black cherries, with olives and spices peeking through. Once in the mouth, it gets impossible to spit with a seamless, silky texture, bright, full, and oh so delectable. Plums, currants, even apricots, and rosemary emerge on the prodigiously elegant finish as augmenting enhancers. We honestly would let this stunner sing solo and not mangle with food, but if you must, we suggest keeping things meaty and simple to fully express the subtle complexities here.
How about that INSANE label?! All of Charles Smith’s art is singular but this could be our favorite. The story has it that the wine was named after the Whitehouse-Crawford Lumber Mill in Walla Walla, on the National Register of Historic Places, with a celebrated local legacy back to the 1880s, and where Charles used to hang out in the early 2000s. Specifically, the King Coal name is from the old coal stove that powered the large mill back in the day, and the ghost of which is believed to have never left the building!
In his visits for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck reports; “One of my favorite tastings during my Washington trip is with Charles Smith and his right-hand man, Brenna Leighton. They have one of the most stacked lineups out there… at the top of the pyramid and are flat out incredible wines that I wish every reader could taste. As I’ve said in the past, these wines are the real deal!”
And how exactly did we land this stupendous deal? Spies do not kiss and tell. They savor. Walk your palate over red-hot briquettes. Give in to King Coal. Let the embers mesmerize your senses. Surrender. Life is too short not to… AND access aside, 40+% savings is impossible to turn your back!
You know you want all. Be considerate, share with others. In an ideal world, everyone should experience King Coal…
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
98 Points – Jeb Dunnuck - “This is another formidable lineup from Charles Smith and Brennon Leighton, who have recently moved their winemaking facility from Walla Walla to just outside of Seattle. By and large, these are all not destemmed and brought mostly in neutral puncheons. As I’ve said in the past, these are the real deal and are brilliant wines. Always from the Stoneridge Vineyard, the 2016 Cabernet / Syrah King Coal is a ripe, sexy, yet savory effort that has awesome notes of red and black currants, spice box, graphite, and ground herbs. Deep ruby/purple-colored, full-bodied, beautifully layered, and with a blockbuster finish, it’s one of those powerful yet still ethereal wines that gives up tons of richness and depth yet has no sense of heaviness or weight. Drink 2019-2031.”
95 Points – James Suckling - “There’s a floral edge to the cabernet on the nose with violets and blue roses, ahead of ripe blackcurrants and red plums. The palate delivers a very vibrant and composed feel with dark berries, laced with lightly roasted coffee. Stylish blend and the pick of the cabernet-syrah quartet at K Vintners. A blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% syrah. Fine now, but best from 2024.”
94 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - “A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the 2016 King Coal Stoneridge Vineyard starts with the blue fruited tones with stewed plum, boysenberry and Chambord on the nose with inky purple flowers. The palate is full-bodied, rich and generous, with a focused core of bold fruits that are dense and chewy. A high-octane wine, it ends with a long-lasting finish. Drink 2019-2032.”
What the Winery Says
2016 K Vintners 'King Coal' Cabernet Blend
- Charles Smith & Brennon Leighton
- 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah
- Columbia Valley, Washington
- Stoneridge Vineyard
- 2.3 tons per acre
- Residual sugar
- Total acidity
- 5.3 g/L
- Skin contact
- 42 days
- 100% whole berry (Cab) & whole cluster (Syrah)
- 21 months on lees
- 65% new French oak