- AUSTIN BEEMAN BLOG (12/2020): "One of my 12 most memorable wines of 2020. A red blend patterned after Bordeaux, this is a seriously luxurious taste of Napa Valley’s Mountains with just enough structure to keep from descending into goo. Pretty great stuff."
- WINE TRAVEL EATS, Amber Burke (7/2020): "The Cook’s Flat Reserve is their premium limited release Cabernet Sauvignon blend (54% Cabernet Sauvignon 46% Cabernet Franc). This is a special wine for special occasions. Smith-Madrone does not make this wine every year, instead only producing small quantities from outstanding vintage years. On the nose, you will find beautiful aromas of forest fruits, damsons, black currants, tobacco leaf, and spice. This complex and sumptuous medium-bodied wine shines brightly in the glass with its silky texture and well-integrated tannins. It has a long and luxurious finish that will make you reach for your glass to take another sip. If I were to use one word to describe this wine it would be “elegant." It is just that good. I’d love this wine with a venison stew. It would be lovely with any kind of game like elk or boar. Beef Wellington also comes to mind as a wonderful pairing option. This is a wine for sharing and making memories with those you love."
- JIM VAN BERGEN UNCORKED (6/2020): "Having tasted the 2009 and the 2013, the 2016 is poised to be quite popular. The 2016 blend is comprised of 54% cabernet sauvignon and 46% cabernet franc; it is aged 19 months in new French oak barrels. Featuring an expansive and glamorous nose, the palate experiences intense full fruit: red plum, blackberry, and black plum with a touch of cassis. Secondary and rich savory notes of tobacco, potting soil, aged leather, forest floor and vanilla tantalize the side and top palates, as the luxurious mouthfeel expands and bathes the tongue, offering greater enjoyment. An extended finish on this blend is more than satisfactory- I immediately began formulating food pairing and a wine dinner based around this bottle.
When I contemplate Cook’s Flat Reserve (which one does, with such a lovely glass of wine) this wine is about a winemaker crafting top quality wine for an impassioned enjoyment. What is fascinating about this wine is how delicious, enjoyable, and intense it is in its youth, for a world-class red blend that has Old World styling. For similar styles from Bordeaux, a wine would have to age considerably longer than four years to have any similar balance - but Cook’s Flat Reserve demonstrates great balance and structure along with the ability to age and still retain quality fruit, acidity and tannin. With a decade of age, that intensity evolves into refined structure with even greater complexity- so either youthful or fully aged, you maximize enjoyment with this bottle.
Should you be looking for a top-flight California red blend that speaks of the best of both the Old World and new world in great wine making, this is the bottle you will want to seek out. Like me, once you’ve had it, you’ll want to have several from each year in your cellar, to age and enjoy, while knowing you can still drink them young for an exceptional experience without having to wait 10-20 years. However, those with patience will reap the benefits."
- STRONG COFFEE TO RED WINE, Rick Dean (7/2020): "This is a special wine, a labor of love. It is created from a small group of the best barrels of the vintage. Since every vintage is different, you can expect the blend also to be different. The 2016 blend is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Cabernet Franc, aged 19 months in new French oak barrels. This is an expensive wine. A precious gift for the person(s) who want more than just a great glass of wine, but an immersion into the 1,800 feet elevation slopes of Cook’s Flat as well as the winemaking skill of the maker. Someone who drinks and contemplates the wine. They admire how it changes from the first glass to the last. I am not sure when the 2016 vintage will be released, but even in its youth, it is an incredible sip. I can only imagine what will transform in the years to come. Dark blue and black fruit aromas waft out of my glass. Black currant, plum, even prune intermix with earth and vanilla. The palate offered similar flavors and so much more, including a tad of dark, dark chocolate. We drank this bottle over two days. I wish I had documented the differences on day two. Shame on me. Both days were magical. This was special."
- 94 Punkte WINE CASUAL, Reggie Solomon (7/2020): "There are red blends and then there are “red blends,” and this is the enviable latter. Deep-intensity ruby in color, this wine has an aromatic, medium-plus-intensity nose of blackberry, bramble, dried mushroom, black plum, leather, red currant, black cherry and violet blossom. On the palate the dry, full-bodied red blend has medium-plus-intensity, black-fruit flavors with a hints of leather supported by medium acidity and velvety, medium-plus tannin. Mid-palate complexity abounds with subtlety of flavor and nuance.The red blend you bring to a dinner party that will please you and the crowd."
- GABE'S VIEW, Gabe Sasso (6/2020): "This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (54%) and Cabernet Franc (46%). Dark and spicy fruit aromas lead the charge here. Black cherry and plum flavors abound. Bits of kirsch liqueur and sweet dark chocolate drive the long and spice laden finish. This is a joyous and hedonistic wine, and like their other offerings is also well proportioned. Drinking Cook’s Flat Reserve brings to mind the term, Excess in Moderation. I’d lay it down for awhile, but it’s also hard to resist now."
- 93 Punkte ENOFYLZ, Martin Redmont (7/2020): "Opaque garnet with effusive aromas of black and blue fruit, cassis, tobacco and spice. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, elegant, and complex with a supple texture and well -integrated polished, sweet tannins. It shows rich black cherry, ripe black and blueberries, and spice flavors with a long, and very appealing delicious finish. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon (46%) Cabernet Franc. The wine is made in very limited quantities from the best vintages from their best blocks. This is an exceptional wine that is approachable now, but will handsomely reward cellaring. The proprietary name “Cook’s Flat is an homage to George Cook, the first owner of the property. ‘Cook’s Flat’ was the local oldtimers’ name for the eight-acre plateau-like vineyard block which was replanted in 1972."
- THE SWIRLING DERVISH, Lauren Walsh (7/2020): "Made in preciously small quantities only in superior vintages, Cook’s Flat Reserve is modeled on the world-famous first growth wines of Bordeaux. Always a blend of the finest barrels, the 2016 brings together Cabernet Sauvignon (54%) and Cabernet Franc (46%) in a medley of ripe black fruit, tobacco, baking spices, and sun-warmed earth. Exquisitely balanced with moderate acidity and tannin, this wine is a hedonistic pleasure to drink now but would reward the patient oenophile who can put it away for a few more years. A simple meal of grilled steak and baked potatoes allowed the Cook’s Flat Reserve to shine. Only 111 cases of the 2016 were made, and each bottle is individually numbered. Available only via the winery (for now) count yourself among the lucky few if you manage to score a bottle. I’m still thinking about this wine two weeks after tasting it. Yeah, it’s that good."
- GRAPE-EXPERIENCES, Cindy Rynning (7/2020): "A brilliant, balanced blend, this wine can be served at a star-studded dinner party or at relaxed backyard gathering with your favorite wine lovers. Stu Smith explained that they “have fun with this project. The name is an homage to George Cook, the first legal owner of the property the Smith family purchased in 1971, and indicates the 8-acre parcel (named Cook’s Flat) of the 200 acres purchased. The concept started with the 2007 vintage. We didn’t want to make big, bold California Cabernet. Instead, we wanted to make a wine to compete with First Growth Bordeaux. We only produce this wine when the vintage year is superior and each year the blend is different. The 2016 is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Cabernet Franc. We’ll release the wine when we want to….” Rich and full, I discovered intense aromas of dark and juicy plums, black cherries and hint of earth. On the creamy, textured palate, notes of blackberries, dark chocolate, currants, sweet tobacco, baking spices and slightest hint of green tea rested on a foundation of soft tannins and moderate acidity. The finish was exceptional. Stu suggested, “Cook’s Flat Reserve 2016 can age 15-20 years. It’s elegant, soft, sophisticated.” Only 130 cases of this wine were produced; my bottle was stamped 1352 of 1560."
- DALLAS WINE CHICK, Melanie Ofenloch (7/2020): "The Cook’s Flat Reserve represents the best barrels from the best lots and is made in certain vintages. It reflects the heritage of the first winery on the property — Cook’s Flat was the name used by locals for the vineyard planted by George Cook. This was elegant and nuanced with blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, tobacco, spice and earth. At $225, it is a special occasion wine, but worth it. In talking with Stu and tasting these wines, the word that comes to mind is authentic. As Stu put it, “Mother nature is our stamp and with her comes balance, complexity and elegance that reflects the terroir. Our goal is play in the dirt and make affordable wines that encourage discussion and make the world flow away.”"
- 98 Punkte WINE REVIEW ONLINE, Rich Cook: „Looking back at my review of the 2007 vintage of this wine – it’s first – I’m struck by the fact that I could say virtually the same words about this vintage. The blend is different, but the result is strikingly similar. A wine not made in every vintage, it’s only separated out from the rest of the Cabernet program when Stu, Charlie and Sam decide that it can do what it’s done here. There’s a “drink me now” aspect to this wine that’s undeniable, which of course can be dangerous to any plans to hold it long term. That said, I’d still recommend betting on this to have a reasonably long run, so if you’re the trophy hunter type who lives for the magic of a fully evolved masterpiece, don’t hesitate. Contains 54% Cabernet Sauvignon and 46% Cabernet Franc.“
2450 individually numbered bottles
BEWERTUNGEN FÜR DEN JAHRGANG 2013:
-TalkAVino, Anatoly Levine, (12/2019): „This might be how you spell “PHENOMENAL”. This wine was a pure pleasure. Pure, hedonistic, unadulterated pleasure. This is the wine at the level of magic – you take a sip, you whisper “wow”, you quietly reflect on what is happening, immersing into the moment. Then you take another sip and repeat. YES, MAGIC.“
-Advinetures, Allison & Chris Wallace (5/2020): „Cook’s Flat is what the locals used to call the 8 acre plot planted in 1972 and used to grow the grapes for this red blend. This vintage the cuvée was 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, with roughly equal parts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Many Napa proprietary blends or luxury cuvées are distinguished by their power. The Smiths, always marching to the beat of their own drum, have focused on elegance in this wine. More toward the black fruit end of the spectrum than their regular Cabernet, this wine showed great intensity without any heaviness. The tannins are medium+, but they are ripe and polished. A rich mouthfeel makes it a pleasure to drink now but Stu assured us this has a long future in the cellar. With such precise balance, we have no reason to doubt him.“- Blog The Syrah Queen, Rupal Shankar, am 28. August 2019: „The Cook’s Flat Reserve is one of my all-time favorite Napa Valley wine. I have had the honor to taste the 2012 and the 2013. Charlie very generously opened a bottle of 2013 for me, and I had the opportunity to try the 2012 last year with a group of fellow wine writers. The Cook’s Flat Reserve is a wine that will appeal to all Bordeaux lovers.
The 2013 that Charlie poured in my glass, is a blend of 46% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot. It is an exceptional wine with rich red fruit and spice. There are hints of blackberry, currants, black pepper, dark chocolate, nutmeg, leather, and tobacco. The wine is powerful with silky tannins. Its precise balance is reminiscent of an old-world style wine.
My time with Charlie at Smith-Madrone Vineyards was very humbling and grounding; he epitomized what all winemaking should be like. The wines are world-class in every way – real, authentic and beautiful. The vineyards atop Spring Mountain are magical, an untouched part of Napa Valley. A bit off the beaten path, Smith-Madrone is definitely a winery that needs to be explored by all Napa Valley wine lovers.“
- Notizen des Weinguts: „This is a limited production wine of 194 cases created by the careful selection and blending of a small group of the best barrels the vintage had to offer. In 2013, this means the wine is 46% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot, aged for19 months in 100% new French oak from the forests of Tronçais, Nevers and Allier. Following barrel aging, the wine rested for two and a half years in the bottle before its release on November 13, 2018. Cook’s Flat Reserve represents our uncompromisingpursuit of perfection in winemaking. Each bottle is numbered and tissue wrapped with a copy of the U.S. Land Office patent which was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, granting ownership of the land to George Cook. That original document hangs in the winery and is an important part of our history. We chose this name in tribute to George Cook, the first owner of the property and the person who originally planted the vines here in the 1880s.The 2013 Cook’s Flat Reserve is a text--book example of the wonderful complexities available in fine wine to those who are willing to slow down and savor the moment. Aromatically fascinating, this wine is a nearly inexhaustible cornucopia of alluring fragrances. It leads with a deep black/red core of fruit surrounded by grace notes of leather, tobacco, nutmeg, violets and cedar. There is even a hint, a mere suggestion, perhaps something like orange zest sprinkled on a dab of brown sugar. An aroma of this complexity is so haunting as to be an end in itself. Happily, after such a glorious start the wine has terrific follow--through on the palate. The black/red fruit that forms the core of the aroma happily repeats itself as it wells up deliciously in the mid--palate with sumptuous portions of black currants and blackberries. A sleek and creamy texture overlays an under--current of light acidity and graceful tannins that promise a long and happy life for those inclined to wait. All in all, the wine is generous without being over--the--top, beautifully composed, harmonious, complete and lingering.“
|Rebsorte(n):||Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc|
|Reben:||46% Cabernet Franc, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot|
|Im Weinberg:||100% Estate Grown am Spring Mountain, Napa Valley|
|Im Weinkeller:||19 month in 100% new French oak|
|% vol Alk:||14,5|
|Notizen des Weinguts:||Smith-Madrone was established in the spring of 1971 when we cleared the forest and reclaimed a long abandoned vineyard. We have meticulously farmed Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the ensuing years. We built the winery; we make the wine. Yes---authentic and artisanal. After an enormous amount of thinking, tasting and walking through the vineyard….we decided to make a Reserve. The Cook's Flat Reserve bottling represents the very best of which we are capable in a given year. It can only be made in small quantities and will only be available when warranted by a vintage of superior quality. It is the ultimate distillation of our experience and expertise. Cook's Flat Reserve is a proprietary name for a wine that is the culmination of our 46 years of growing grapes and making wine in the mountains of the Spring Mountain District. The name refers to George Cook, the first owner of the property. 'Cook's Flat' was the local oldtimers' name for the eight-acre plateau-like vineyard block which was replanted in 1972. The packaging expresses the property's history and an uncompromising attention to detail. Each bottle is numbered; only 1,350 bottles of the 2012 vintage were produced. Each bottle is wrapped in tissue which has been printed with a copy of the U.S. Land Office Patent which granted ownership to George Cook and was signed by President Chester Arthur on December 5, 1885. We proudly display the original at the winery. The wine is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 17% Merlot. It is classically structured for sustained aging and has layers upon layers of dark, rich fruit flavors.|
|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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