2015 Smith Madrone Chardonnay Spring Mountain Napa ValleyChardonnay from United States
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Smith-Madrone is a family-run estate-bottled winery dedicated to producing fine wines exclusively from its own vineyards. In 1971, 200 acres were purchased high atop Spring M...
- 91 International Wine Report
91 International Wine Report
wine offers a wonderful sense of place. Pink Lady apple, banana and creme brûlée flavors impress as they linger on the finish."
Smith-Madrone is a family-run estate-bottled winery dedicated to producing fine wines exclusively from its own vineyards. In 1971, 200 acres were purchased high atop Spring Mountain, west of St. Helena, in the Napa Valley. One of most beautiful appellations of the Napa Valley, the Spring Mountain District was recognized by the B.A.T.F. in May of 1993. Charles and Stu built the winery by hand, using stones and lumber from the property. A cellar and the main floor house French and American barrels. The roof of the building is used for entertaining. It has stunning 360-degree views of the floor of the Napa Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance, as well as of Smith-Madrone's own steep dry-farmed vineyards. Another striking historical and visual note is the dramatic corridor of 22 Picholine olive trees which descend the slope below the winery into the vineyards. More than a hundred and twenty years old, these trees were carefully preserved when the vineyards were re-planted. Their huge proportions (some stretch as tall as 35 feet) are a testament to their struggle for precious mountain sunlight. Smith-Madrone is located at elevations between 1,300 and 1,900 feet; the vineyards straddle slopes of up to 35%. The vines flourish in vividly red and rocky volcanic soil known as Aiken loam, which is well-drained and friable. In exploring the property before purchasing it, Stuart Smith discovered old grape stakes interspersed with the tall trees, evidence of a vineyard planted in the 1880s and abandoned with the onset of Prohibition. Douglas fir, oak, redwood and madrone trees were cleared, and the vineyards planted. The year 1972 marked the beginning of the vineyard itself with the planting of Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir (the last grafted to Chardonnay in 1989). Unusual for North Coast viticulture at the time, the initial twenty acres were planted on their own roots. The cooler mountain climate is an additional factor which produces grapes of intense flavor, structure and longevity. Today the vineyard consists of 38 acres in various stages of production dating back to 1972. In addition to the 9 acres of Riesling, 7.5 acres of Chardonnay
91 - International Wine Report
|Taste||apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla|
|Nose||apple, pear, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, kiwi, butter, cream and vanilla|