Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery is a family-run operation. The story of Smith-Madrone started in 1971 when Stu Smith brought a breathtaking property on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain. Shortly thereafter, in 1973 Charlie Smith joined his brother Stu. Stu and Charlie were the early modern-day pioneers of Spring Mountain.
Brothers Stu and Charlie, along with Stu’s son Sam, pour their heart and soul into making the greatest Rieslings, Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons from the mountains of Napa Valley. Together they strive to make wines that exhibit elegance, authenticity, simplicity, and individuality. They firmly believe in the wines that they are producing, and are committed to making a fresher, lighter and authentic style.
“All our wines are made entirely from our dry-farmed estate vineyards surrounding the winery on top of Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Our goal is to make artisanal wines which are distinctive and are an expression of both the vintage and us, as vintners, but above all else, are wines that bring pleasure to the senses.”
The elevation and steep slopes set Smith-Madrone Vineyards apart from the rest, making Napa’s best mountain wines at 1300-2000 feet altitude. With volcanic-based soils and a cool climate as their terroir, the wines are elegant and full of finesse. Smith-Madrone Vineyards are dry-farmed, which adds to the complexity of their wines.
Those that read my articles know that I appreciate the authenticity of Smith-Madrone Vineyards, not just the wines but the property and the people that make up this exceptional winery. At Smith-Madrone there are no flashy designer tasting rooms, but what you have are incredible views and an incredible welcome. All tastings are hosted by Stu or Charlie personally in the cellars at Smith-Madrone which also function as their tasting room, the winery, the wine shop, a home office, a lunchroom, and a board room. You will certainly be given a breathtaking tour of the property. Be sure to visit Smith-Madrone Vineyards when in Napa Valley. It is an exceptional and authentic experience.
I have always said that there is something very comforting and soothing about being at Smith-Madrone Vineyards. Click here to read about my visit to Smith-Madrone and my conversations with Charlie Smith. Charlie and Stu aim to deliver authenticity and consistency in each vintage.
Smith-Madrone Wines – New Releases
2018 Smith-Madrone Chardonnay
This wine will turn anyone into a Chardonnay lover with its understated personality. It is everything you want in a Chardonnay. The wine is subtle at first but then exuberantly opens up with sensational aromatics of apple, lemon, apricot and brioche. There is nice zippy acidity, structure and balance on the palate. There is a refined elegance on the mouthfeel with a purity that lasts through the finish.
2017 Smith-Madrone Riesling
Riesling is quite unusual in Napa Valley but it does well in the hillsides above the Napa Valley floor on Spring Mountain. This is a delicious Riesling that will age incredibly well. The wine has aromas of honeysuckle and apricot with a slight hint of petrol. There is a silky texture on the palate with bright acidity and notes of citrus and stone fruit. This Riesling may possibly be my favorite wine from Smith-Madrone, a wine that is rare and very special from the mountains of Napa Valley.
2018 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon
Smith-Madrone Cabernets get me excited about Napa Valley wines. There is a freshness to this wine that is appealing and instantly draws you in. This is a prime example of what a mountain cab should be with its terroir-driven style that screams Smith-Madrone. A blend of 86.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 7.5% Cabernet Franc, the wine is aromatic, structured and complex.
The purity of fruit comes through in the aromatics, with notes of black currant, dried cherries, cocoa, dried herbs and spice. The palate is balanced and complex with layers of dark fruit and spice. Its youthfulness will evolve gracefully with time in the bottle, though it is drinking beautifully now.
**Photos Courtesy Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery**
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