Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2010

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2010
Washington, $20

Charles Smith is one of those crazy-haired dudes that people always call a “Rock Star” winemaker. I think it means he doesn’t follow the rules and while that’s probably true compared to Baron Eric de Rothschild, this rock star has quietly become one of Washington’s most successful winemakers. His K Syrah’s are among the best (and most pricey) in the state. His lower priced Kung-Fu Girl Riesling is a stellar deal and available in most grocery stores south of the border. And this wine—an explosive chocolate and berry filled merlot—is likewise a smoking value down south at $12, and still good deal here at about $20. Small price to hang with a rock star.

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