- HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Dale Robertson (9/2021): „Our tasters gave it a unanimous recommendation: “blackberries, red currants and black pepper flavors. Dusty and herbal. Oak shows on the finish.” The grapes are from the producer’s steeply sloped dry-farmed estate, which sits atop Spring Mountain at 1,800 feet above sea level. The blend contains a small amount of merlot and cab franc.“
- FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE (7/2021): „Brothers Stuart and Charlie Smith spent several days last fall fighting fires that threatened their Spring Mountain estate, keeping it safe for its 50th anniversary this year. When I was there in May, trees were scorched but vines were intact—and this aromatic, black currant-rich 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was just stellar.“
- MY RED WINE GUYS (6/2021): "A 100% Spring Mountain Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc with aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, cedar and forest floor....decant this wine for an hour for balanced tannins with a long finish."
- DRINKHACKER, Christopher Null (5/2021): "While it’s a touch green on the nose, time in glass helps temper some initial tannins and earthiness here, leading to a palate that features notes of currants, chocolate, and spice, filtered through a fairly sweet vanilla character. "
- KATHLEEN WILCOX (4/2021): "The Cabernet gets a little pop of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, and brings a basket of black and red fruit, mountain brambles, with leather, cedar, smoke, as structured, quiet and powerful as an old church. Dark, mysterious, captivating. Yet another reminder (as if I needed it) that mountains create special flavors."
- EVE WINE 101, Eve Bushman (4/2021): "Blackberry, blueberry, ash, cigar, incense, stewed mushrooms, char, earth and dark chocolate – all aromas I found on the nose. The flavors reminded me of the darkest of fruit, bursting with spices and layered with rich tannins and pepper. The finish was extremely long. I might like to lay this one down a few years and see how it develops. Was fine right now with Short Rib Ravioli."
- STEPHEN MCCONNELL (3/2021): "I grew up in the mountains of California, and one of the things which has always struck me about these wines is how palpable the mountain air is on the nose. The way the volcanic soil and rocks and towering conifers, sprawling oak and manzanita play so headily into how the wines smell–right down to the kinnikinnick underfoot. Tiger-lilies along the creek and dogwood flushing out, lazy alder sitting in the shade of sycamores down in the draws, beds of lush nettle and blackberry brambles running up from the water into the warm sunshine where wild ceanothus and chaparral mingle. These are the magical points of mountain wines, and while valley-floor wines can be lush and well-fed, typically predictable by vintage variations, the hillside stuff doesn’t really see that kind of weather–or homogeny.
This stuff pours dark and dense, and obviously generous decanting is advised–especially at this ridiculous age. Nearly impenetrable and glass-staining, the black ruby comes to an abrupt edge. Black cherry and even blacker berry lie thick in the nose, accented by dusty mint and eucalyptus, mascarpone and petrichor driving it all along.
In the mouth, the calm, balanced integrity of the wine takes center-stage. It is not jammily effusive, not chunkily gobb-stopping; what really rolls your eyes back into your head is the even distribution of everything across the palate. The only sharp edges come from the crazily-young structure, and even they are polite in their attack. Black and bitter mid-palate, completely uplifting the original focused fruit to concentrated status. The briar and spice are mellow and well-integrated, just serving as more subtle points contributing to the whole. Tannins are so easy, but impossible to ignore.
Drinking a wine like this quite shines a light on other Napa offerings shooting for the stars and the RP96 in distilled fruit pudding, hi-alcohol and breath-taking tannin. This wine is just so PURE. So REAL. So absolutely PERFECT."
- JEB DUNNUCK: "If you like classic, old school Cabernet and don't mind a solid kick of green, you'll dig this. Revealing a healthy purple/ruby color as well as notes of red currants, green tobacco, cedarwood and damp earth, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a nicely concentrated, structured mouthfeel, solid ripeness in the tannins and an outstanding finish. Give bottles a good 4-5 years of bottle age, and it should evolve for 15 years or more."
- 92 Punkte WINE ENTHUSIAST, Virginie Boone: "From the producer's dry-farmed estate, the grapes for this wine are grown at 1,800-feet in elevation. Dried herb, black pepper and clove arise on the nose. The elegant, restrained palate brings notes of forest floor, red currant and cigar, all wrapped in a mountainous tannic structure."
- 94 Punkte WINE REVIEW ONLINE, Rich Cook (5/2020): "This vintage from veteran producers Stuart and Charles Smith shows the typical structure and age-worthy character that has marked nearly fifty vintages for the duo. Careful farming and minimal intervention winemaking of the Spring Mountain fruit always brings a fine glass that shows a bit of the rugged spirit that drew the brothers to the land, and that’s a bonus in my book. Some Cabernet Franc (6%) and Merlot (3%) are evident on the nose and in the mouth, adding depth with notes of pepper and herb, and adding structure with Franc’s freshening acidity and suppleness with Merlot’s rich feel. Always built for cellaring, this wine will go long, so give it a long decant if you need to enjoy near term – a full day isn’t a bad idea. Once again, great wine from the mountain!"
- VINTAGE EXPERIENCES, Dan Berger (12/2020): "Anyone who grew up in wine in the 1980s and was able to taste and understand some of the complexity that Napa Valley Cabernets offered in those formative years will appreciate the overwhelming stylistic parallel in this stunningly complex red wine. The remarkable parallel to the past starts with wonderful acidity of almost 7 g/L, and continues with a remarkably low 3.4 pH, giving it a structural integrity that you will not find it very many other Napa Valley Cabs. In terms of flavor, the wine offers dried herbs, black cherry, and a trace of cassis, and although it’s drinkable now, it will be far better in a decade. Charlie and Stu Smith have made this Cabernet statement for decades and have always flown under the radar. Considering the price of so many Napa Valley Cabernets these days, this is an absolute bargain."
- 93 Punkte THE TASTING PANEL MAGAZINE, Meredith May (12/2020): "The grapes for this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend with small percentages of Cabernet Franc and Merlot grow in steep, dry-farmed vineyards in cool mountain temperatures. Bold aromas of brush, black plum and espresso precede a round, elegant, borderline-silky mouthfeel with coffee-flavored tannins, sweet earth and dark chocolate."
- FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE, (7/2021): „Brothers Stuart and Charlie Smith spent several days last fall fighting fires that threatened their Spring Mountain estate, keeping it safe for its 50th anniversary this year. When I was there in May, trees were scorched but vines were intact—and this aromatic, black currant-rich 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon was just stellar.“
- 17,5 Punkte VINUM: “Dicht und kräftig in der Nase - Schwarze Johannisbeere, dunkler Pfeffer, Teer und Lakritze, ein Hauch Garrigue-Kräuter. Am Gaumen reife Anmutung, ein frischer und saftiger Säurekern verleiht dem ganzen Gravitas. Das Tannin ist griffig, gut integriert. Hält lange an und macht viel Vergnügen. 2023-2028“
BEWERTUNGEN FÜR DEN JAHRGANG 2015:
- GABESVIEW.COM, Gabe Sasso: "In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon there’s also 16% Cabernet Franc blended in to this wine. Black cherry and bits of leather present on the nose. Red cherry drives the palate along with spice, savory herbs, lots of earth and a core of mineral notes. The finish is long and acid rich. Delicious now this wine will improve over time. I wish more Napa Valley Cabernet’s tasted like this. People often ask me for Cabernet recommendations to buy as a gift. to impress someone. Often they say their budget is $100. I tell them to buy two of these."
-94 Punkte Tasting Panel Magazine, Meredith May (4/2020): „An exquisite bouquet of lavender, dried violets and jasmine arises in tandem with sweet black and red fruit. This is a silky and statuesque wine with a fruit-forward bent, but echoes of graphite and chocolate add complexity of character; its freshness and concentration of fruit is perceptible. The grapes were grown at 1,800 feet atop Spring Mountain (16% Cab Franc is blended in) and aged 18 months in 65% new French oak.“
-93 Punkte International Wine Review, Don Winkler (1/2020): „Sourced from dry farmed vineyards high up (1800’) on Spring Mountain, this is a superb example of mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. It offers black currant, plum, and berry fruit complemented by dried herbs and mountain underbrush aromas and flavors. It’s highly aromatic, firmly structured, and a delight to drink as it evolves in the glass, revealing a complexity of flavors that matches the bouquet. It shows a youthful exuberance, so additional cellar time will only add to its drinking pleasure.”
- Im Spitzenfeld einer 2015er Napa Valley Cabernet Verkostung im DECANTER, Stephen Brook: " HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 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!"
- 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."
- 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.“
|Wine Enthusiast:||Cellar Selection92 WE|
|Rebsorte(n):||Cabernet SauvignonMerlotCabernet 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|
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