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A new series of video tasting notes!

September 19, 2014

Smith-Madrone announces a new series of videos filmed by videographer Tom Sanders. The videos average around two minutes in length and feature both Stu Smith and Charles Smith.

The series includes video tasting notes for the 2012 Riesling, 2012 Chardonnay, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Cook’s Flat Reserve, as well as videos on dry farming and wine tasting.

“We wanted to present these wines where we could tell their stories directly to our friends and customers,” explains Stu Smith. “We hope these videos will make it easy for people to get a quick sense of what makes our wines unique,” adds Charles Smith.

Tom Sanders is a commercial and contemporary photographer and author. He makes short films and commercials; his work is available at

2012 Riesling “has the goods to age”

September 17, 2014

The Prince of Pinot reviews the 2012 Riesling:

90 points: Pale yellow color and clear in the glass. Delicate aromas of lemon zest, green apple, peach and toast. Flavorful range of citrus fruits and peach with a note of iron-driven minerality and bright acidity. Has the goods to age for many years.

Stu’s Spring Mountain District harvest report for the week

September 17, 2014

With the warmer weather, the harvest tempo is picking up.   The vintage is definitely defining its uniqueness with many wineries harvesting a little bit of everything at the same time.  Cabernet Sauvignon is already being harvested along with Merlot and the perennially late Cabernet franc is also being harvested.   It seems that the red grapes continued to size up late into the season providing larger than expected yields.  This reminds me of the old adage “big crops get bigger, and small crops get smaller” as the harvest gets closer and closer.


2012 Riesling in the October San Francisco Magazine

September 16, 2014

In the October issue of San Francisco Magazine, Elaine Chukan Brown wrote a “Toast to Unharmed Bottles.”

“Raise a glass to the region’s resurrection with these expert-recommended warm-weather wines….The 2012 vintage of Smith-Madrone Riesling is my ideal wine for fall. it offers beautiful aromatics of stone fruits, pressed flowers, and lemon pith, and on the palate it is focused and lively.” — Kelli White, co–wine director at Press Restaurant, St. Helena.”


Smith-Madrone featured in the new Back Lane Wineries of Napa

September 13, 2014

Smith-Madrone is honored to be included in the new (2nd edition) Back Lane Wineries of Napa Valley. Author Tilar Mazzeo traveled the byways and cross roads to choose distinctive wineries….and on September 12 The Wall Street Journal chose the book as a favorite in the new crop of wine books.

Lettie Teague wrote: “From edifying reference tomes to a non-fiction story of vinous intrigue, here are the finest wine books to pore over this fall….Do wine drinkers really read—or even need—wine books anymore? Or can they get all the info they require from online sources? Some books can be bested by a good website or blog, but my six favorite new wine books have no Internet peer. From an atlas of vineyards in Germany, to palm-size travel guides of Napa and Sonoma counties, to the true story of a plot to destroy a great French winery, these books are well written and the products of much research and scholarship. They will certainly be consulted—and cherished—for years to come.

  1. Back Lane Wineries of Napa, Second Edition // Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma, Second Edition By Tilar Mazzeo (Ten Speed Press)

These cleverly designed palm-size books are just over 200 pages each, but they’re packed with useful information. Both are by Tilar Mazzeo (author of the entrepreneurial histories The Widow Clicquot and The Secret of Chanel No. 5). Not only are they well written and illustrated with maps and color photos of wineries, hardworking winemakers and a photogenic tourist or two, they also contain some true discoveries—including a number of producers, restaurants and stores I now want to check out.

Both books are organized geographically by key sub-regions. For example, “Napa” has nine sections, including Calistoga, Silverado, Howell Mountain and St. Helena, and “Sonoma” has five, including Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. As experienced wine-country travelers know, it’s best to discover both counties in small geographic bites…”



Stu’s harvest report for the District this week

September 13, 2014

September 8, 2014

The fabulous weather for the last 10 days has allowed harvest to proceed with nearly perfect conditions. This week Stony Hill, Schweiger and Keenan will be finishing chardonnay. This week numerous wineries are starting Merlot in a serious way with a few wineries dabbling in small blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon. The acids and pHs are in perfect balance; flavors tend to be developing at lower sugar levels than normal. Everyone is anticipating a serious go at Cabernet in the upcoming weeks.

Smith-Madrone 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon in The New York Times

September 2, 2014

In the September 3 New York Times wine column

 Standout Wine Lists in New York City: 10 of New York City’s Most Surprising Wine Lists

Eric Asimov writes:

Great wine lists don’t need to be epic length. They don’t require classic, expensive bottles. And they don’t appear only in conventional places; some of the best, in fact, show up where you least expect them. Here are 10 of the city’s most surprising wine lists, in alphabetical order. Some are simply unusual. Others are unexpected or unsung. All are wonderful and satisfying……


at Maysville in the Flatiron District: “…among reds, Smith-Madrone is always a welcome sight…”


There’s more at