- 92 Punkte DECANTER, Stephen Brook: "Creamy start to the palate, good freshness and very drinkable. Shows some leafy and tomato characters with a bit of dried fruit and sage. Long finish. Drinking Window 2022 – 2032" - 94 Punkte TERROIRIST (1/2020): "I’m back this week with another round of new California releases, and this report has some goodies. Spring Mountain’s Smith-Madrone has long made incredible, age-worthy, unique wines, and their new Riesling and Cabernet deliver oodles of goodness for not much money… Light purple color. Wow, the aromas pop with juicy yet crunchy red and black currants, plum skins, along with earthy, rocky tones, graphite, coffee and violets. Full but balanced so nicely on the palate. Solid tannic structure for aging, vibrant acidity, the mouthfeel sets the stage for smooth black cherries and tart red currants. Fruit is laced with violets, clove, graphite, tobacco, and there are lots of earthy, savory tones that need years to fully show themselves. Gorgeous concentration, yet balanced and lively. Includes 16% Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 65% new French oak. For my palate, this is one of the most insane bargains in Napa Cabernet. I’m so stoked this wine exists." - Jos, verkostet im März 2020: "Kräftiges Rubinrot; kräftige Schlierenbildung; offenes, sauberes Nasenbild mit Aroment von schwarzen Kirschen, roten und schwarzen Beeren, etwas Lakritz, erdige Anklänge, Kräuter; strahlt schon im Duft die Wärme des Jahrangs 2015 aus; am Gaumen mit vielen Tannine von guter Qualität und gutem Biss, kräftige Säure, sehr vital mit toller Energie, sehr mundwässernd, rosa Grapefruit, sehr mineralisch, tiefgründig, vielschitig, legt mit Luft weiter zu, gibt weitere Schichten frei, viel Struktur, auch Röstaromen mischen sich dazu, Lakritze, wird auch etwas cremiger, sehr langer Abgang. Glasempfehlung: Zalto-Bordeaux-Glas; unbedingt ausgiebig dekantieren; unbedingt auf die Temperatur achten, eher ein zwei Grad kühler servieren.
Am nächsten Tag nachverkostet: Er hat sich weiter entwickelt, ist offener, noch komplexer, die Tannine etwas geschmolzen, die Säure bleibt und hält den Wein gemeinsam mit der Mineralität frisch und sehr lebendig, sehr mundwässernd, sehr lang, attraktiver Rückgeschmack. Ich bin mir sicher, dieser Wein wird 30-40 Jahre halten!"
- Notizen des Weinguts: „The crop is 2015 was unusually small and the growing conditions produced a medium weight wine of great style and wonderful drinkability.
Aromatically the wine is thrilling in its laser-like focus and intensity of fragrance. It delivers remarkable complexity; every inhalation reveals a new and surprising element. Bright fruit, dark fruit, black currants, red plums, lavender, spices, violets, green olives, all are present and more.
The palate confirms rich flavors of vibrant blue-black fruit, surrounded by a silky texture that leads to a bright and beguiling finish. Overall, the impression is one of effortless elegance, sleek and svelte.“
Bewertungen Jahrgang 2014:
- 92 Punkte DECANTER, Stephen Brook: "Creamy start to the palate, good freshness and very drinkable. Shows some leafy and tomato characters with a bit of dried fruit and sage. Long finish. Drinking Window 2022 – 2032"
- 94 Punkte TERROIRIST (1/2020): "I’m back this week with another round of new California releases, and this report has some goodies. Spring Mountain’s Smith-Madrone has long made incredible, age-worthy, unique wines, and their new Riesling and Cabernet deliver oodles of goodness for not much money…
Light purple color. Wow, the aromas pop with juicy yet crunchy red and black currants, plum skins, along with earthy, rocky tones, graphite, coffee and violets. Full but balanced so nicely on the palate. Solid tannic structure for aging, vibrant acidity, the mouthfeel sets the stage for smooth black cherries and tart red currants. Fruit is laced with violets, clove, graphite, tobacco, and there are lots of earthy, savory tones that need years to fully show themselves. Gorgeous concentration, yet balanced and lively. Includes 16% Cabernet Franc, aged 18 months in 65% new French oak. For my palate, this is one of the most insane bargains in Napa Cabernet. I’m so stoked this wine exists."- WINETHROPOLOGY: "Nothing showy here; just a deep currant nose with herbal and medicinal aromatics that leads into a closed (at first) mouth. More serious than I recall this being in previous vintages thanks to its tightly wound, firm, tannic structure and silent power. Definitely going to be a long-lived wine. After enough air, it’s easy to appreciate, but simple it is not. Rather, it’s a wine of depth to enjoy as fortification for body and soul prior to a winter’s hibernation."
- Jos, verkostet im März 2020: "Kräftiges Rubinrot; kräftige Schlierenbildung; offenes, sauberes Nasenbild mit Aroment von schwarzen Kirschen, roten und schwarzen Beeren, etwas Lakritz, erdige Anklänge, Kräuter; strahlt schon im Duft die Wärme des Jahrangs 2015 aus; am Gaumen mit vielen Tannine von guter Qualität und gutem Biss, kräftige Säure, sehr vital mit toller Energie, sehr mundwässernd, rosa Grapefruit, sehr mineralisch, tiefgründig, vielschitig, legt mit Luft weiter zu, gibt weitere Schichten frei, viel Struktur, auch Röstaromen mischen sich dazu, Lakritze, wird auch etwas cremiger, sehr langer Abgang. Glasempfehlung: Zalto-Bordeaux-Glas; unbedingt ausgiebig dekantieren; unbedingt auf die Temperatur achten, eher ein zwei Grad kühler servieren.
- THE INTOX REPORT, Chris Kassel (März 2018): "Altitude plays a role in producing wines of potency and nuance, but without a proper foundation, it’s all for naught. The reddish Aiken soil that predominates throughout Smith-Madrone vineyards is derived from nearby Sonoma Volcanics, and tends to be gravelly, leading to even more radical drainage than elevation alone would account for. In the Spring Mountain AVA soil depths vary, but tend to be deeper than in nearby mountain terrains, and as a result, so do their red wines. Notable is the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is almost inky black in color (high elevation reds seem to tan in the direct UV rays like people) and has a bracing dose of acid that preserves the elusive quality of freshness in extraordinarily rich wines. The wine displays the pedigree of middle-aged vines; these are in their early forties. It’s juicy with dark, saturated berry flavors—fruit crushed for jam, but not yet stewed. It’s accented by coffee, spicy plum and crushed peppercorn and shows clarity and precision. I always welcome an opportunity to circle back to see what the brothers-on-high are up to at Smith-Madrone. Smith is the most common name in the United States, so it’s gratifying to note that these two are making some of the most unusual wines."
- VINERATION, Brian Seeling (März 2018): "It's a steal, with aromas of pipe tobacco, unripe black plum, blackberry, and exceptionally integrated oak. When you sip it, a rush of juiciness washes over your palate and the silky texture falls effortlessly down the hatch. The medium strength tannins cling to the insides of your cheeks to extend the long dark cocoa finish. "
- INTERNATIONAL WINE REVIEW, Michael Potashnik und Don Winkler, (März 2018): "Nicely integrated and complex with a melange of red and black fruit with noteworthy boysenberry, plum, savory herbs and notes of underbrush and chocolate. It is nicely concentrated, round on the palate with firm tannins and a long finish."
- 91 Punkte und "Cellar Selection" WINE ENTHUSIAST, Virginie Boone (Mai 2018): "This is a concentrated wine made with 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot within the blend, a restrained take on mountain-grown fruit and tannin. Cassis, red currant and cedar persist within a framework of tart acidity and balanced oak, the structure suggestive of further aging. Enjoy best 2024 through 2034."
- NITTANY EPICUREAN, Michael Chelus (April 2018): "Earlier this week, my ongoing series of discovery of some of the great wines of California brought us wines from some of my favorite wineries in the state.Today, the series will stay in Napa for another delicious cabernet from a winery for which I've developed quite an affinity. This wine is mostly cabernet sauvignon (85%) blended with small amounts of cabernet franc (8%) and merlot (7%). The fruit - all estate grown - hails from Napa's Spring Mountain District. Following fermentation, the wine was aged for 18 months in French oak barrels (70% new). It comes in at 13.9% ABV. The wine showed a dark ruby color. Blackberry, raspberry, vanilla and oak on a nose that showed initial restraint. Cherry cola, raspberry, blackberry, vanilla, plum, licorice, oak and hints of eucalyptus followed on a palate much more developed than the nose. The wine exhibited good structure and length, along with soft tannins. This wine would pair classically with a dry-aged prime rib."
- STRONGCOFFETOREDWINE, Rick Dean (April 2018): "The Smith-Madrone 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect balance of Old World and New World styles. It is soft and finessed. It is earth and fruit. And oh, it makes me smile from ear to ear while I look for a place to hide the bottle, so I do not have to share. Drats foiled again, Gary knows my hiding place. The color is dark and purple with subtle purple-ruby edges. The aromas at the top* bring out cedar and a hint of wet terra cotta. At the bottom*, I find stewed prunes and raisins, and other black fruits mixed with a woodsy earthiness. My drinking partner finds similar yet different aromas calling out dusty, dry cherries and dense mossy forest. We are both intrigued by the smells/aromas that seem to complement each other rather than fight for top billing. From the first sip to the last there is roundness and balance. To me, black fruit permeates with a light kiss of acid right from the start. The tannins are soft and approachable. As the wine finishes you get a second burst of acidity that cleanses your palate in anticipation of your next sip. Which I did… over and over and over again. This wine is rocking my world. For my partner, he is struck by the harmony between the dark fruits and the earth. Geez, we are both loving this wine. My sister pops in the house while we are sipping, so I hand her my glass. All she can say is, “WOW!, damn that is good.” One final comment: I was prepared to like this wine but did not expect to want to search it out locally. I was so incredibly wrong. This is a fantastic wine."
- VINEPAIR, Courtney Schiessl ( Februar 2018): "A fresh green edge characterizes this balanced mountain Napa Cab. Perfect for Dinner With The Parents, Steak Dinner. Cabernet Sauvignon’s green character certainly comes through on this mountain Napa wine, likely amped up by the small proportion of Cabernet Franc blended in. Ripe, dusty black cherry fruit transitions into brambly berries on the grassy palate, the fine, grippy tannins providing great balance."
- SLOW WINE GUIDE (Januar 2018): "The Smith-Madrone line-up, and especially the Cabernet Sauvignon, leave no doubt that they have been crafted from old-vine, mountain grown fruit. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, brooding wine with concentrated black and blue fruits framed by iron-shaving tannins and subtle oak spice (and, it should be noted, this powerful red easily outperforms Cabernets twice and three times its price)."
- AMERICAN WINE SOCIETY JOURNAL, Ellen Landis: "Here is an intensely built Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot. This gem shows off the terroir of this long growing season region in spades. Deep fruit on the nose segues to plum, black raspberry, black currant, licorice, herbs, spiced oak and earth coating the palate. Tightly wound with a firm backbone of tannins. Decant if you pop the cork now, or wait patiently, there are rewards to gain by cellaring."
- 94 Punkte DECANTER, Anne Krebiehl: "The elegance of mountain fruit shows through here, with ripe plum coated with smoky notes of thyme. The palate has very fine, drying but pleasantly crunchy tannins with lovely grip, and there's a sexy, smoky tint of single-malt whiskey around the edges. Lovely, crisp Cabernet structure. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035"
- BRISCOE BITES, Stacy Briscoe (Juni 2018): "I’ve been dying to taste Smith-Madrone wines since I don’t know how long. I’ve only heard fantastic things about the estate and their wines. And after interviewing Stu Smith, founder, manager, and enologist for Smith-Madrone Winery, for a recent article, I was even more eager and curious what this downright passionate proprietor is creating with these lovingly tended-for vineyards. So what better way to start than with the varietal Napa is known for?
Flavor Profile: Pop the cork and breathe in immediate aromas of dried fruits, forest floor, and a bit of mocha. This Cabernet Sauvignon presents a dark purple-black on the pour, settling into the glass more purple-rouge, nearly impenetrable at its core, and with a tint of orange-brown at the outermost perimeter. Initial aromas are of leather, dried black cherry, unsweetened cacao, and bourbon barrel. Swirl and the wine releases scents of dried rose petals, a hint of chocolate, and a solid acidic line. The palate is full, presenting a solid acidity, and tannins that maintain a friendly presence. There’s just a slight amplification of the acid as the tasting progresses, which in turn showcases the fruit. Likewise, the tannins slightly increase towards the finish, paying homage to those floral notes. Dominant flavors are of oak barrel woodiness, black cherry, tart plum, decadent but dark chocolate, earth, a bit of bacon, and a hint of Brazil nut complete with its skins.
Food Pairing: I paired the Smith-Madrone 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon with a veal roulade: thinly sliced veal rolled with goats cheese, spinach, and cranberries, and encased in prosciutto. First of all, yum. Second of all, perfect pairing. As the evening progressed, the wine opened up beautifully, making way for a rounder texture. The salty prosciutto also gave the wine a more supple mouthfeel and played up the fruit and acidity."
- VINEPAIR, Edward Deitch (Juni 2018): "These days, California’s Napa Valley is filled with celebrities, corporate big shots, and other one percenters who have caught the wine bug and bought their way into the region and the wine business.
So it’s refreshing to think about two bearded brothers who have been at it for almost half a century, high up on a mountain in their rustic corner of the Valley, with little ostentation or self-promotion.
The brothers are Stuart and Charles Smith, who have been growing grapes and producing distinctive estate wines at their Smith-Madrone Winery on the top of Napa’s Spring Mountain since 1971. This is not the Napa Valley overrun by the wine-soaked masses. (Tours are by appointment only.)
Smith-Madrone has been all about consistency, producing the same excellent wines — primarily a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chardonnay, and a Riesling — year in and year out.
My recent tasting of the 2014 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon confirms it. This is classic, terroir-defined Cabernet with a signature that says Smith-Madrone (the latter part of the name refers to a type of evergreen tree on the property).
The grapes are grown in steep, mountainside vineyards in largely volcanic soils. The vineyards are mostly dry-farmed (no irrigation is used), not only to conserve precious California water, but to produce more complexity in the wines, which results from the vines having to dig deeper for their nourishment.
That complexity is a hallmark of the 2014 Cabernet, a $52 wine with aromas of violets, red fruits, and graphite, followed by concentrated dark and red fruit tastes and a hint of eucalyptus. The oak is well integrated, the tannic structure is refined, and the ample acidity gives the wine an overall brightness. A slightly green note, not uncommon in young Cabernet, gives way as it opens up. The blend is 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 8 percent Cabernet Franc, and 7 percent Merlot.
With alcohol listed at 13.9 percent, it’s also a refreshing counterpoint to the still-prevalent model of Big California Cab. It’s enjoyable young and will be worth exploring 10, even 20 years from now."
- ROCKINRED BLOG, Michelle Williams (Juli 2018): "Crafted of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Merlot from dry-farmed grapes grown in Spring Mountain District estate vineyards; this beautiful ruby wine opens with aromas of fresh black fruit, dried violets, cassis, black pepper, forest floor, sweet tobacco and spice notes, licorice, minerality, and vanilla; incredibly balanced wine that meets the palate in a juxtaposition of finesse and power infused by the volcanic soil and guided the gentle hand of Stu Smith; tannins are high yet silky, acidity is balanced and mouth-watering, with a long and lean finish; another wonderful wine of great value by Smith-Madrone."
- FRED SWAN (August 2018): "A very generous Cabernet on nose and palate with classic notes of dried leaves, cassis, mocha, black raspberry, milk chocolate, spice and oak. It’s full-bodied and luxurious, yet juicy, in the mouth with very fine, softly chalky tannins, and an extremely long finish. Delightful now but will age until 2030+
As they stuck with Riesling, Smith-Madrone has also stood by their original winery building, traditional winemaking approach, and producing wines that are about balance and drinking pleasure, rather than impact and opacity. This is expected of Riesling, but applies equally to the Smith-Madrone Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines."
- 91 Punkte INTERNATIONAL WINEREPORT, Owen Bargreen (Januar 2018): "This is a classic display of Napa Valley Cabernet. This instantly grabs your attention as it releases aromatics of dark fruits intermingling with spices and herbal elements. The mouthwatering acidity is lovely, as this medium to full-bodied wine delivers flavors of blackberry cobbler, crushed mint and coffee grounds which entice. This beautifully balanced Cabernet will cellar gracefully over the next decade."
- FORBES GIFT GUIDE, Katie Bell (November 2018): "The year of the earthquake, and one of the region’s fiercest droughts, brought vineyard challenges but ultimately yielded some exceptional wines. Smith Madrone’s mountainside Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic example of how challenged grapes bring densely concentrated fruit flavor and also ensure distinctiveness. This wine shows off with deep black cherry notes, spice, finesse, power and silk in one sip."
- SYRAHQUEEN, Rupal Shankar (Dezember 2018): "Best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for intimate holiday dinners (Under $60)
Smith-Madrone wines are made entirely from dry-farmed estate vineyards surrounding the winery on top of Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Stuart Smith chose specific slopes with different exposures for specific varietals when planting the vineyards, specifically southern and western exposures across flat stretches for the Cabernet Sauvignon. Stu was named one of the wine industry’s most inspirational people in January 2018.
This wine opens with a concentrated nose of dark fruits, leading with notes of boysenberry and plum. The palate is remarkably seamless, an elegantly integrated mouthful with a velvety, silky texture which leaves you realizing how wine-making can ‘distill’ a grape into a powerful perfume, the essence of Cabernet Sauvignon."
|Wine Enthusiast:||Cellar Selection|
|Rebsorte(n):||Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc|
|Reben:||Cabernet Sauvignon mit etwas Cabernet Franc|
|Im Weinberg:||Spring Mountain District 42 Jahre alte Reben, keine Bewässerung|
|Im Weinkeller:||18 Monate in Französischer Eiche gereift (70% neu, 30% ein Jahr alt)|
|% vol Alk:||13,9|
|Potenziell allergene Substanzen:||Enthält Sulfite. Kann Spuren von Eiweiß, Gelatine und Milch enthalten.|
|Importeur/Inverkehrbringer:||Schreiblehner Wein bewegt, Gewerbepark Lindach B1, D-84489 Burghausen|
|Warnungen:||Der Konsum von alkoholhaltigen Getränken während der Schwangerschaft kann selbst in geringen Mengen schwere Konsequenzen für die Gesundheit des Kindes nach sich ziehen.|
|Hersteller:||Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery, PO Box 451, St. Helena, CA 94574, USA|