A taste of Smith-Madrone: McCoy’s view
Smith- Madrone, Riesling, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley 2016 91 £ 37-£40 Roberson, The Wine Reserve Smith-Madrone’s dry Riesling has long had a dedicated following and the winery is one of the few producers of the variety left in Napa. It’s Alsatian in style, and this vintage shows a super wet-rock minerality, succulent limey notes, juicy acidity and a round texture. It’s also the first vintage available in hand-waxed magnums, which makes sense because the wines are surprisingly long-lived. Drink 2020-2029 Alcohol 12.8%
Smith- Madrone, Chardonnay, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley 2017 89 N/A UK www. smithmadrone.com
This was a rollercoaster vintage in terms of temperature, with oppressive heat on Labor Day weekend in early September (not to mention the horrific October fires, which didn’t damage Smith-Madrone). According to Stu Smith, without watering the vines might not have survived. But this estate Chardonnay is a nice wine in a tough year: it’s round and rich with green hints and lovely acidity. Drink 2020-2025 Alc 14.2%
Smith- Madrone, Rosé, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley 2018 90 N/A UK www. smithmadrone.com
The winery experimented for several years before releasing this first vintage of rosé.
In the watermelon-hued 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the Cab Franc really stands out. Aromatically, it shows off luscious floral aromas of roses, and intense, succulent red-berry fruit flavours coat your tongue. This is a serious rosé that would go well with food. Drink 2020-2022 Alc 14.3%
Smith- Madrone, Cook’s Flat Reserve, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley 2016 96
N/A UK www. smithmadrone.com
This limited-production Cabernet blend is a selection of the best barrels, and the vintage enjoyed a near-perfect growing season. The dark, intense colour promises more density and concentration than the Estate Cabernet. Explosive aromas of violets, mint, lavender and fruit waft out of the glass and reflect the high proportion of Cabernet Franc. The layered flavours are über-intense, and the texture is smooth and concentrated. Wow!
Drink 2021-2040 Alc 14.3%
Smith- Madrone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley 2016 94
£ 50 (2015) Roberson
The winery’s estate Cabernet is from mostly dry-farmed vines grown at the top of Spring Mountain, elevation 550m, and in this vintage the sense of place shines through – especially with only 45% new oak used for barrel ageing. It’s very much a mountain Cabernet, with classic structure, cassis and graphite aromas, and deep, savoury red-fruit flavours with hints of mint. The tannins are powerful but very fine. Drink 2020-2036 Alc 14.3%