From Slow Wine Guide, published in January 2018:
Brothers Stu and Charles Smith arrived on Spring Mountain in 1971, when it was mostly still uninhabited though they soon discovered that the site that would become Smith-Madrone was planted to vineyards prior to Prohibition. More than 40 years later, theirs is still a two-man operation, with Stu overseeing viticulture and Charles running the winery. Total annual production hovers around 5,000 cases.
VINEYARDS: Ranging in altitude from about 1,200 to 2,000 feet and planted on steep pitches, the dry-farmed Smith-Madrone span 34 acres in various stages of production. The soils here are the Spring Mountain mix of volcanic and sedimentary rock, and the varietal mix includes 6 acres of Riesling, 10 acres of Chardonnay, 13 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A majority of these vineyards exceed 40 years of age, and it shows in the profundity of the wines.
WINES: The Smith-Madrone line-up, and especially the Cabernet Sauvignon, leave no doubt that they have been crafted from old-vine, mountain grown fruit.
GREAT WINE: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is a big, brooding wine with concentrated black and blue fruits framed by iron-shaving tannins and subtle oak spice (and, it should be noted, this powerful red easily outperforms Cabernets twice and three times its price).
The 2015 Chardonnay is 100% barrel-fermented and aged in new oak, boasting deep apple and pear fruit, a creamy texture and refreshing acidity.
The 2014 Riesling is a structured, unoaked, bone-dry expression of white peach, citrus and wildflowers underpinned by wet-stone minerality and bracing acidity. It, like the Cabernet, has shown a capacity for long aging.