The 13 Wines You Must Try in Napa and Sonoma
The best places to taste, sip, and mingle in California’s wine country
by DAVID LYNCH, Afar Magazine, MAY/JUNE 2016 ISSUE
Smith-Madrone gives you Stuart and Charles Smith, two Napa originals making some of the best Cabernet in the Valley (without the ego and corresponding price tag). Visiting this farm (and these farmers) is like a journey to Dagobah to meet Yoda.
We’re honored to be one of several Rieslings offered at a book signing for John Winthrop Haeger’s newest book, Riesling Rediscovered: Bold, Bright and Dry.
The event takes place in St. Helena on May 5 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 750 Wines in St. Helena, located at 1224 Adams Avenue. There is no charge to attend, but RSVPs are requested or can be arranged by emailing Sep@750wines.com.
Haeger will speak about the book at the event and Napa Valley Rieslings from Smith-Madrone and Stony Hill will be poured, joined by bottles from Radio-Coteau from Sonoma County, Germany’s Weingut Dreissigacker and Austria’s Malat and Markus Huber. Copies of Riesling Rediscovered will be available for purchase. A portion of the evening’s book sales will benefit Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch’ emergency fund.
This is a must-attend event if you’re a student in any wine certification program (WSET, Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, Society of Wine Educators) or if you just want to find out why wine lovers are so enthusiastic about these wines.
Riesling is the world’s seventh most-planted white wine grape variety and among the fastest growing over the past twenty years. It is a personal favorite of many sommeliers, chefs, and other food and wine professionals for its appealing aromatics, finesse, and minerality; for its uncanny ability to reflect terroir; and for its impressive versatility with cuisines of all types. It is stylistically paradoxical, however. Now usually made dry in most of Europe and Australia, and assumed dry by most German consumers, Riesling is made mostly sweet or lightly sweet in North America and is believed sweet in the American marketplace irrespective of origin. Riesling is thus consequently—but mistakenly—shunned by the mainstream of American wine drinkers, whose tastes and habits have been overwhelmingly dry for two generations.
Riesling Rediscovered looks at the present state of dry Riesling across the Northern Hemisphere: where it is grown and made, what models and objectives vintners have in mind, and what parameters of grape growing and winemaking are essential when the goal is a delicious dry wine. John Winthrop Haeger explores the history of Riesling to illuminate how this variety emerged from a crowded field of grape varieties grown widely across northern Europe.
John Winthrop Haeger has written about wine since 1986. His articles have appeared in Connoisseur, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Sunset, Saveur, San Francisco Chronicle, Singapore-based Appetite and Japan’s Wine Kingdom. His first book about wine, North American Pinot Noir (University of California Press, 2004), was named Louis Roederer International Wine Book of the Year for 2005. The second, Pacific Pinot Noir: A Comprehensive Winery Guide for Consumers and Connoisseurs, was published in September 2008.
Congratulations, Charlie, on this great interview!
Our thanks also to Ilona Thompson at Palatexposure.
Bonnie Zimmermann will represent the winery at a Wine Tasting Class and Soiree on Tuesday, April 26 at The Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland.
The event begins at 6:00 p.m. It is one of a number of events affiliated with The 2nd Annual Oakland Wine Festival taking place on July 16 (also at The Sequoyah Country Club).
Oakland Wine Festival founder Melody Fuller and Honorary Sommelier Ryan Williams will join Zimmermann in conducting a seated tasting of 2013 Chardonnay, 2014 Riesling,2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and2009 Cook’s Flat Reserve. Guests will then enjoy a walkaround tasting of 2014 Chardonnay,2013 Riesling and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon along with hors d’oeuvres prepared to complement the wines.
For more information on the Festival: http://oaklandwinefestival.com/
Tickets must be purchased in advance: https://simplecheckout.authorize.net/payment/CatalogPayment.aspx
Ray Isle in the May issue of Food & Wine Magazine recommends that you stop by:
Napa Valley Dream Trip Tips, May 2016, Food & Wine Magazine, p. 108, by Ray Isle
Being a wine writer is a little like being a doctor. People ask you for advice at parties. …I get asked, “I’m going to Napa Valley in a few months—what wineries do you think I should visit?” I’m not surprised by the question. There are more than 400 wineries in Napa Valley; figuring out which ones to visit is definitely tough.
Here are my suggestions for mapping out a winery itinerary:
Think small. Throw in a few smaller, family-owned operations….I’m a big fan of Smith-Madrone Vineyards in the Spring Mountain District, where the impressively bearded brothers Stuart and Charles Smith make terrific old-school Napa Cabernets….
Cindy Rynning at Grape-Experiences recommends the 2013 Chardonnay:
From Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena is this gorgeous estate grown Chardonnay, the entirety of which was barrel fermented and aged in French oak for 8 months. Aromas of tangerine, pink grapefruit, lemon peel, and almonds were absolutely lovely. Bursting with just-right acidity, notes of butter, oak, and citrus led to a lip-smacking finish that lingered.
Gayot chooses the 2013 Riesling as one of its top ten Mother’s Day wines:
Originating from terroir that winemaker Stuart Smith purchased in 1971, the Smith-Madrone vineyards produce grapes perfect for crafting French- and German-style wines. The Smith-Madrone 2013 Riesling boasts aromas of stone fruit, white flower and honeysuckle. Flavors of citrus and stone fruit are rounded out by a creamy finish.