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 Vintage2008 Label 2 of 4 
(NOTE: Label borrowed from 2009 vintage.)
ProducerCharles Smith (web)
DesignationThe Velvet Devil
SubRegionColumbia Valley
AppellationColumbia Valley
UPC Code(s)184745000195

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2010 and 2012 (based on 3 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 86.2 pts. and median of 87 pts. in 69 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by DTLT on 5/23/2012 & rated 80 points: barely drinkable. (3858 views)
 Tasted by peter_sichel on 3/27/2012 & rated 85 points: I snatched this one from the bargain bin for $7 and was able to enjoy the first glass. I thought it was better than when first tasted 12-18 months ago. (4177 views)
 Tasted by raiderwes on 10/20/2011 & rated 86 points: surprisingly drinkable; dark, rich color; very smooth; not earthy at all. (5954 views)
 Tasted by cpeddy on 9/18/2011 & rated 80 points: Bitter tasting and acidic. Maybe a lot of time open would make it drinkable, maybe. (4593 views)
 Tasted by Meerlust on 5/28/2011 & rated 86 points: Medium red color. The nose was earthy with plum notes. In the mouth, this light-bodied wine displayed plums, herbs, and occasional chocolate notes. The acidity was clean, but there wasn't much depth on the midpalate. The finish was average. Overall, this wine seemed pretty generic, but with hamburgers, it showed a little more depth. Drink with food. (6407 views)
 Tasted by MODELL on 3/27/2011 & rated 84 points: Not the richness I expect from Merlot. (4164 views)
 Tasted by laelops on 3/19/2011 & rated 92 points: Unique for a merlot, didn't have the traditional curves and full body, but was very solid with a long finish. (4245 views)
 Tasted by n8540 on 2/1/2011: Yuck. Fake grape from nose to finish. I've never been a big fan of Charles smith wines, but this is just embarrassing. (4483 views)
 Tasted by Leomania on 1/25/2011 & rated 83 points: A pale comparison to the 2007, which was indeed a hedonistic pleasure. Vanilla on the nose and also the primary flavor, it is thin and peters out quickly. This doesn't make it bad per se, just disappointing - especially in comparison to its older sibling. (4461 views)
 Tasted by peter_sichel on 1/24/2011 & rated 85 points: Very good for a $12 wine. Easy to drink, but unremarkable. (4409 views)
 Tasted by Sheldo on 1/11/2011 & rated 90 points: Balanced (4518 views)
 Tasted by spartacus111 on 1/8/2011 & rated 84 points: Not terrible, but not great. For the price point I usually feel pretty safe with a merlot but this one was a disappointment. My major issue with it was the moderate citrus notes that creep in on the finish.

Drinkable but you get MUCH better Merlot at $14 (4542 views)
 Tasted by hicmndr on 12/27/2010 & rated 83 points: Dark fruit, black cherry, smooth finish, medium body, a little tannic. Not bad, but nothing spectacular. Would be curious to try it a year from now. (4678 views)
 Tasted by williamswhine on 12/26/2010 & rated 87 points: Several at the dinner liked this bottle-- little dry/oaky Merlot. Medium to full bodied, medium finish. (4664 views)
 Tasted by Jack O'Brien on 11/26/2010 & rated 80 points: Tasted blind and was convinced it was an Aussie Shiraz - big fruit and oak and boring. (4886 views)
 Tasted by YWG Wine Guy on 10/23/2010 & rated 86 points: Not sure what to make of this. Seems more mellow on the oak front compared to 2007 and pro notes. Not feeling the "velvet devil" here though as i was hoping. This is some spice and an artificial quality to the nose. I get similar notes on palate. It is a little tannic, with some acid - light. Some coco notes actually, and some stewed fruit - very subtle. Not enough there for me, perhaps a little more oak would make this "velvety"...producer has quite the Rep, and the local store got more of the product line in that i will give a go. (4830 views)
 Tasted by wacarlton on 9/29/2010 & rated 87 points: Very smooth, but unremarkable. (5162 views)
 Tasted by flag1976 on 8/30/2010 & rated 85 points: Had a very alcoholic nose that took a while to blow off. Much better the second and third day. Some chocolate and dark berries. (5452 views)
 Tasted by jdabrowski1027 on 8/12/2010 & rated 87 points: day 2 notes: definite cold climate WA nose with a slight hint of greens. chocolate covered cherry, some coffee grounds, but a little thin. Consistent notes and a good QPR. (5735 views)
 Tasted by Jibeck on 8/12/2010 & rated 74 points: Ehhhhhhhhhhh. Ok. I guess? (5714 views)
 Tasted by djpo on 8/9/2010 & rated 84 points: Nice wine right off.
Dark fruit and berries on the nose and taste.
Tannins could use a year to soften.
Good QPR. (5557 views)
 Tasted by jdabrowski1027 on 7/28/2010 & rated 87 points: I think great QPR (5728 views)
 Tasted by CooGAR on 6/13/2010 & rated 88 points: The wife enjoyed this quite a bit, so did I for the price. Dark fruit and smooth on the tongue. Medium finsh. Will keep a few bottle of this around for an eveyday merlot. (5879 views)
 Tasted by castle2 on 5/29/2010 & rated 87 points: Not smooth like I thought it would be. Ok at first but got a little sour at the end. (6060 views)
 Tasted by hutch on 5/21/2010 & rated 87 points: Black cherries, medium bodied, easy going. Nice acidity. Fine. (5961 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Jancis Robinson, MW
JancisRobinson.com (4/16/2010)
(Charles Smith, The Velvet Devil Merlot Columbia Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Julia Harding, MW
JancisRobinson.com (1/21/2010)
(Charles Smith, The Velvet Devil Merlot Columbia Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.
By Gary Vaynerchuk
Wine Library TV, Washington Merlot and Twitter Tasting, Episode #833 (3/17/2010)
(Charles Smith velvet Devil Merlot) #3; VaynerPAZZZ; COLOR-dark; NOSE-very candy-like cherry on the attack; a little vanilla oak action that concerns me a little; PALATE-solid dark chocolate on the mid-palate surrounded by good amount of oak; solid red fruit; not to inspiring or interesting; a little awkward and disjointed on the finish; a little rusty nail juice meet red fruit; it's OK, but doesn't do much for me; GV-84  84 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of JancisRobinson.com and Wine Library TV. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Charles Smith

Producer website


Merlot variety: Wikipedia | Appellation America | CellarNotes


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


Washington Wine Commission | Credit to Washingtonwine.org for this article

Washington Wine
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington wines are found nationally in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

With 30,000+ acres planted, the state has ideal geography and conditions for growing premium vinifera wine grapes. Primarily grown on their own root stocks, the vines produce grapes of consistent quality, resulting in strong vintages year after year. While its focus is on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the region also produces a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

Winemakers from all over the world have chosen to establish themselves in Washington, where they can create wines reflecting this region's unique characteristics. Their hand-crafted wines are receiving wide acclaim from critics regionally, nationally and internationally for their consistently high quality. Many of them have received scores of 90 and above from the major wine media. Overall this is a higher percentage than other leading wine regions.

As the state's fourth largest fruit crop, the Washington wine industry is an important contributor to the long-term preservation of Washington agriculture. The industry is committed to sustainable agricultural practices and conservation of water resources.
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington wines are found nationally in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

Washington produces more than 20 wine grape varieties - a ratio of 56 percent white to 44 percent red. As the industry matures and experiments, it finds many grape varieties that thrive throughout Washington's microclimates. There are more than 16,000 vineyard acres of red wine varieties statewide.

History & Vintages
Washington's wine future is limitless. As consumers discover the quality of Washington wines, demand continues to grow nationally and internationally. New acreage and wine varietals are being planted and new wineries are opening at a remarkable pace. Washington State is recognized as a premium viticultural region around the world.

State Facts
Washington's wine industry generates more than $3 billion to the state economy. It employs more than 14,000 people, directly and indirectly, with projections to add nearly 2,000 more jobs by 2006. In terms of tax revenues accrued to the state and federal government, wine grapes are among the highest tax generators of any agricultural crops. Furthermore, Washington wine tourism attracts nearly two million visitors annually contributing to the positive growth of local and regional economies.

Washington State - the perfect climate for wine = ideal growing conditions, quality wines, business innovation, lifestyle, and social responsibility. All are key elements of this world-class wine industry.

Columbia Valley

Columbia Cascade Winery Association

The Columbia Valley AVA lies mostly in Washington state, with a small section in Oregon. The Cascade Range forms its western boundary with the Palouse regions bordering the area to the east. To the north, the Okanogan National Forest forms a border with the AVA and Canada. It encompasses the valleys formed by the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Walla Walla River, the Snake River, and the Yakima River. The Columbia valley stretches between the 46th parallel and 47th parallel which puts it in line with the well known French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The northern latitude gives the areas two more hours of additional daylight during the summer growing season than wine regions of California receive. The volcanic and sandy loam soil of the valley offers good drainage and is poor in nutrients, ideal in forcing the vine to concentrate its resources into the grape clusters.

Columbia Valley

Columbia Valley Winery Association

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