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The Hedonistic Taster takes a look

February 6, 2018

The Hedonistic Taster takes a look:


Here are some shocking Wine Country après-wildfire statistics:

According to a Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute study on the impact of last year’s Wine County wildfires, 99.8 %  of California’s North Coast vineyard acres were not affected by the fires. Moreover, 93 % of wineries surveyed reported no structural damage or long-term impact.

What does this mean? It means that you need to hop on over to Napa and Sonoma ASAP. Ask these fine folks how they’re doing. Taste their wines. Eat their farm-to-table food pairings sourced from local farms that also survived the wildfires.

These are proud, passionate, resilient people. People eager, willing and grateful to share the bounty of Wine Country with you.

I can think of no better place to start than Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery on Spring Mountain in Napa Valley.

Founded in 1971 by Stuart Smith, Smith-Madrone straddles Spring Mountain atop steep, rocky, dry-farmed slopes rising between 1,300-2,000 feet. Today the Smith family, including enologist Stu, brother and wine maker Charles, and son and assistant winemaker Sam, produce ~4,000 cases of small-lot, artisanal wines annually from this 200-acre ranch overlooking Napa Valley.

Smith-Madrone wines represents the graceful soul of Old Napa combined with the unbreakable spirit of Napa Reborn – supple, approachable, with a powerful core of mountain je ne c’est quoi. A good place to start, indeed.

Wine: 2014 Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon


Robe:  Opaque garnet-ruby robe.

Nose:  Dark fruits, tomato leaf, tobacco, black tea, capsicum back-note.

Palate: Medium body, firm tannins, balanced bouche, lengthy finish. Age-worthy for the patient; savor-worthy now for those who eschew delayed gratification.

Wine: 2015 Smith- Madrone Spring Mountain District Chardonnay


Robe:  Pale gold robe.

Nose:  Apricot, nectarine, fleurs blanches.

Palate: Light body, lush florals and stone fruit bouche, unctuous finish.

The Hedonistic Taster | № 35 | Smith-Madrone, Napa Valley



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