We’ve been reviewing Stu and Charles Smith’s wines for some time. Last year’s article reviewed wines mostly from the 2018 vintage and also discussed how the Smith family fought the Glass Fire of 2020. You may wish to link to last year’s article for more on the vineyard and its history. In this article, we review mostly wines from the 2019 vintage and a beautiful three vintage offering of their standout Riesling.
Smith-Madrone 2019 Chardonnay Napa Valley Spring Mountain District ($45) 94 Medium yellow-platinum straw. This mountain vineyard Chardonnay expresses ripe fruit in a restrained style. The nose offers subtle orchard fruit and hazelnut aromas. The mouthfeel is crisp and fresh, offering nicely focused line of rich, integrated orchard and stone fruit and integrated oak along with bright, lemony acidity. 14.6% alc.
Smith-Madrone 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Spring Mountain District ($65) 94 Dark red. Terrific bouquet with notes of cassis and dark berries and with nuances of cedar and spice. Elegant on the nose and palate with an attack of pure fruit complemented by minerals and tangy acidity. There’s excellent depth of flavor on a broad, albeit nicely focused, palate. Finishes with lingering freshness and a repeat note of bright acidity. Overall, absolutely delicious and a bargain for a Napa Cab of this quality. A blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc matured 18 months in 55% new French oak. pH 3.56, 14.3% alc.
Smith-Madrone 2019 Cook’s Flat Reserve Napa Valley Spring Mountain District ($225) 96 Dark red. Unusually elegant for a mountain Cabernet but with fine tannic grip and a deep palate that suggests a long and interesting life. If only I were a rock musician with a bank account that would allow me to purchase a case and open one bottle every 18 months! It opens with an emphatic nose of dark cassis, black pepper and minerals. Silky and pure with a gorgeous, full mouth feel this wine isn’t shy on flavor, but it’s more about elegance than power. I would suggest aging in cellar a couple of years, but if you must drink it now, be sure to decant. Dry-farmed 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc sourced from a mountaintop parcel planted in 1972 [originally planted by George Cook in the 1880s], matured 18 months in 100% new French oak. pH 3.61, 14.6% alc.
Smith-Madrone Riesling Three Pack of the 2021, 2019, and 2018 Vintages ($118)
Riesling is the grape that first brought fame to the doorstep of Smith-Madrone, and it’s still one of America’s best. They currently offer a pack of their three most recent vintages (there was no 2020 due to the Glass Fire). Both the 2021 and 2019 are youthful wines, but the 2018 is drinking beautifully right now. An incredible value and the perfect gift for any wine lover.
Smith-Madrone 2021 Riesling Napa Valley Spring Mountain District 93 Light yellow straw. This youthful Riesling shows excellent potential. The bouquet evokes floral notes, wet river stones, and citrus. The palate reveals excellent freshness and depth of flavor with firm, mouthwatering acidity. The wine will become more expressive over time and will be ready to drink when released in 2025. pH 3.04, RS 2 g/L, 13.2% alc. Won’t be released until 2025. Smith-Madrone 2019 Riesling Napa Valley Spring Mountain District 95 Medium yellow. Opens with scents of cling peach, lemon and chamomile flowers. The palate reveals a scintillating, sweet fruit-firm acid tension, very clean with bright yellow fruit flavors. Finishes with good length and a sense of purity, minerality and freshness. The 2019 vintage has the lowest pH and highest total acidity of the three vintages. Excellent potential for a very long life and beautiful evolution in the bottle. My recommendation: buy a case to drink over the next decade. pH 2.97, RS 6.7 g/L, 13.3% alc. Smith-Madrone 2018 Riesling Napa Valley Spring Mountain District 93 Reviewing this wine almost two years ago, we wrote, “Drinking beautifully now, but it could benefit from a little more time in bottle.” Now, tasting it again, it’s at or near its peak. The nose reveals stone fruit and mineral nuances with excellent depth of flavor on the palate, including a light Riesling-petrol note. Perfect balancing acidity lends freshness and vivacity to this outstanding wine. pH 3.04, RS 7 g/L, 13.3% alc.
Note: Chuck O’Rear is the photographer.
Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2023/11/02/smith-madrone-of-napa-valleys-spring-mountain-current-releases-autumn-2023/