May Virtual Tasting - Charles Smith 2007 Boom Boom! Syrah

Tonight's Virtual Tasting is the Charles Smith 2007 Boom Boom! Syrah. As usual, I will be opening the bottle about 7pm and posting my thoughts on the wine throughout the evening. Please join us in trying this wine and posting your notes.

Also, I want to give a shout out to people at Solano Cellars in Berkeley, CA who will be participating in tonight's Virtual Tasting. Solano Cellars is doing glass pours of this wine and inviting their patrons to post their thoughts.

Also, entering 2008, I have created a Twitter site at: and will be tweeting along with VT'ing tonight.

Look for the first update about 7pm.

7:10 Update: Okay folks the bottle is cracked. Mr. Smith has eschewed the cork and gone with the screwtop on this wine. Temperature of the wine is 66 degrees.

7:30 Update: The wine is somewhat light in color. The nose brings it with lots of meat and dark berry aromas. Some floral components show at times. A very appealing nose at first blush.

Reminder to folks in the Bay Area, check out the Boom Boom! Syrah at Solano Cellars in Berkeley. Free pours of this wine tonight!

7:45 Update: The wine lives up to its name with a lot of expression on the palate. One boom would not do. The scents on the nose show up on the taste as well. Lots of fruit - predominantly blackberry - along with game. Fairly dry with a zing of acidity. Drops off a bit about half way through but then picks back up and races to the finish. Quite impressive for the price point.

8:00 Update: Still liking this wine quite a bit. A fair amount of oak shows through on the taste and the weight of the wine which seems like a bit of a shame as the fruit seems excellent. Some beautiful floral components - lavender and violets.

Some specs on the wine. A pleasantly restrained 13.5% alcohol. Thank you Charles. Other information I have is from the 2006 vintage which is listed on the website. For that wine, 4,300 cases produced. Vineyard sources are Sunset (Quincy area), Weyns (Frenchman Hills), and Talcott (Wahluke Slope). I will see if I can scare up information for the 2007 vintage.

8:15 Update: Blueberry also shows up on both the nose and the palate. I also get what I can only describe as an umami component on the taste.

Bottle reads "LAND TO HAND, VINEYARD TO BOTTLE." Indeed. A picture of a struck match accompanies these words.

8:45 Update: Some reviews of this wine from publications.

From Wine Spectator April 30 issue: 89 points. Bright and effusive, this is juicy with lively flavors of blackberry, plum and sweet spices, lingering on the open-textured finish. Drink now. 5,000 cases made. –HS

Nothing on Parker or Wine Enthusiast as far as I can see.

In terms of Harvey's review, I agree with most of what he has to say. Don't get the plum and sweet spices and I have never quite understood the open textured finish.

9:00 Update: Overall I really love the nose of this wine and the taste delivers a lot for the money. Given the dip in the midpalate and that it is a touch heavy on the oak, I would give this wine a "+" rather than a "*" in my rating system, although it is quite close to being a star wine. I would list it as Recommended which is a listing I give to +-rated wines that represent particular values at their price point. I do believe that this wine is an exceptional value. I purchased this wine for $13 at Pete's Seattle.

10:00 Update: One final thought. Letting this wine sit out it warmed up to about 68 degrees, and I found myself enjoying it considerably less. Now it also could be that the wine has been opened for three hours at this point as well but I believe it is the temperature. Bottom line is that temperature makes a big difference. I use a device from VinTemp to measure temperature. You don't need to go crazy and buy a temperature device but if you are drinking a wine at room temperature you're most likely not helping yourself as this tends to be 67-75 degrees. Not the best temperature for wine. Personally I prefer red wines at 62-65 degrees. If you don't have a cellar to keep the wines at a proper temperature, I suggest throwing wine in the fridge or freezer for 20-30 minutes. The warmer it is outside (and therefore inside for me), I tend to chill the wine a bit longer.

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. haven't tried it yet, but the nose is interesting. Light, but interesting. Tons of blueberry pie, along with other fruit. Also get hints of vanilla powder (like you put in your coffee) and potpourri.

  2. Perhaps it's because I'm sitting outside on a beautiful Seattle day. I enjoy the nose actually. It is just not over-powering by any means. Initial taste is surprisingly good as well. Full palate, particularly on the first half. Balance is surprising as well, although both finish and balance fall apart over time. We'll see...

  3. Indeed, summer has come to Seattle. Falls apart on the balance and finish? Ouch! I agree that it gets thrown a bit out of balance in the middle. Will need to think about the finish a bit more.

  4. Overall I agree that the finish doesn't deliver as much as I would like. Still, a great value.

  5. 2 out of 5. On the nose, big barrel aromas of chocolate and vanilla, blue fruit, background hints of earth and smoke. Palate seemed a little clumsy: sweet red fruit, cherry vanilla flavors, and noticeable oak.

    Charles Smith talking about Charles Smith Wines, his modernist project: "The intent is to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with typicity with regards to variety... and to the vineyard - wine that tastes like where it was grown."

    To me, this tastes like it could be grown anywhere. My mom would like this wine, but I don't.

  6. Two points for the take down! I'm not sure who the bigger swipe is at - the wine or mom! I didn't get as much of the oak on the nose but there was definitely a good bit of wood on the taste. This seems like a shame as the fruit seemed like it would do fine without it.

  7. Trying this again on day 2, and it is much improved! Oak notes have moved to the background, allowing the earth and fruit to show a bit more. Raising the score to 3 and now guessing that mom and I would both like this equally.