Wine educator Eric Hiltz at Bin 412 tastes the 2017 Riesling on his Instagram:
Consider me converted.
2017 Smith Madrone Riesling, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California 12.9%
I’ve long been enamored with the Cabernets(Sauvignon and Franc alike) and Merlots of Spring Mountain where a thin topsoil layer and high elevation above the fog line produces smaller, thicker skinned berries yielding wines of marked intensity, varietal character, structure and age worthiness that in the hands of the right farming and winemaking can also possess freshness and elegance not often seen in this part of the world.
Who would have thought that world class Riesling could grow next to these monumental reds and achieve similar heights?
Enter brothers Stuart and Charles Smith. Stuart purchased the property in 1971 and Charles makes the wine, all from estate fruit on vineyards ranging between 1,300 – 2,000 feet asl on slops as steep as 34%
I’ve been drinking a lot of Riesling lately given my recent bi-annual trips to the Finger Lakes region. I haven’t had anything from the west coast that matches the verve, tension and energy of some of my favorites. Nor have I had any that match the texture and balance of my favorite German examples. This wine changed the game for me.
Substantial weight and density on the nose. Oily, waxy petrol already coming through overtop of soaring florals, crisp apple and some savory herbaceous notes. Medium weight with more stone fruit than citrus flavors on the palate. Amazing texture. The acidity comes in next, not offsetting but accentuating, the seriousness of this wine, pointing to a long life ahead. Simply gorgeous.
I challenge you to give me a $32 bottle of white wine that provides this much immediate enjoyment with the promise of being rewarded with 10-20+ years of patience.