It’s been a hot & heavy harvest. We finished on September 28; there may have only been one or two other vintages where we were finished this early and didn’t harvest a single grape in October. The yield was lower than normal but great quality.
Lots of news to share with you.
We were honored on September 23 when our Congressman, Mike Thompson, came to the winery to present us with a framed copy of the Congressional Resolution he’d read into the Congressional Record on June 16, 2022. Here’s a brief video of his remarks and here is the Resolution. Mike congratulated us on our 50th anniversary, saying “What incredible stewards of the land Stu and Charlie have been and are. It’s a real tribute to be able to say this is what we’ve done, this is how we’re taking care of it and it’s going to be around for a long time…Thanks for 50 years of good work.” We are so grateful for this honor.
In time for hearty fall food and long peaceful evenings with friends and families, we are releasing two 2019 wines: the 2019 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2019 Cook’s Flat Reserve.
2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
The wine is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. It spent 18 months in 55% new French oak and we made only 1,523 cases.
The aroma of the 2019 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon immediately hits you with a luxurious combination of blue/black fruit. Cassis, black cherry, marionberry and black plums dominate. Dig in a little deeper and you will find subtle hints of black pepper, graphite, black olives and a range of spices. An experienced taster should also be able to identify the signature quality that 12% Cabernet Franc lends to this wine’s seductive nose.
Medium weight on the palate, this is an exceptionally lively and elegant wine, loaded with delicious dark fruit. While not as tightly structured as the 2018, the 2019 Cab is more forthcoming and forward. It is bright, creamy and plush at mid-palate, then slowly tapers off to a long, lingering finish that is both succulent and zingy. It is a completely lovely wine that qualifies as serious fun in a glass.
Buy: $65.00 (750 ml)
2019 Cook’s Flat Reserve
The wine is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc and spend 18 months in 100% new French oak. We made only 1,872 bottles. As you may know, this is our prestige cuvee, named in tribute to George Cook, the first owner of the property and the person who originally planted the vines here in the 1880s. Each bottle is individually numbered and the bottles are wrapped in a full-color reproduction in tissue of our patent for the property, signed by President Chester A. Arthur.
Very dark in color with a deep, dark aroma to match. The aromatics are dominated by a firm core of black cherry, blackcurrant and black pepper. The 10% Cabernet Franc is making a very positive contribution to a sublime complexity. Why do we need perfume when wine smells like this? On the palate the wine is full, rich and creamy. The mid-palate is lush and crammed with dark fruit. There is some evidence of tannin and acid but beautifully controlled and nicely integrated into an impressive organic whole. This is a splendid wine, filled with riches that can only add luster to the wonderful achievements of Smith-Madrone’s Cook Flat Reserve line-up.
Buy: $225.00 (750 ml)
Another new offering is a very unusual horizontal tasting set: four wines from the 2019 vintage. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2019 Cook’s Flat Reserve are new releases; the two other wines are Chardonnay and Riesling from the 2019 vintage. These provide a delicious look into the future; the two whites won’t be released for at least one if not two years from now. This is a set of wines that you would rarely find at a winery: four different varietals (and blends), from the same vintage and from the same estate vineyards surrounding our winery, perched at 1,800 feet above the Napa Valley floor, farmed by the same hands over the last five decades, across slopes which range in steepness up to 34%.
Buy: $375.00 (x4 750 ml)
And a reminder…
Although summer is almost in the rear view mirror, you can also take advantage of our Summer Sippers set of wines: one bottle each of 2021 Rosé, 2017 Riesling, 2018 Chardonnay
Buy: $99.00 (x3 750 ml)
Yet another option is our Terrific Threesome, a bottle each of our 2018 Chardonnay, 2017 Riesling and 2019Cabernet Sauvignon.
Buy: $136.00 (x3 750 ml)
What about putting a magnum or two in the middle of your holiday table?
These are elegant and complex wines from a wonderful vintage. Two choices:
And now for something completely different. If you follow our Instagram, you will have seen some of the adventures of Tucker, our 14-month-old Springer Spaniel. We decided to tell his story via video. Enjoy.
And in case you’re wondering about how the current wildfire “season” is going….we have implemented extensive fire mitigation around the property, both in terms of equipment (fire hydrants, water tanks) and brush and tree clearing and dead-tree removal. We faced an enormous surcharge on our insurance if we didn’t remove the hedge at the back of the winery and the ivy climbing over the building.
By spring we will have a lovely stone wall in place of the hedge.
We wish you a wonderful fall.
Charles and Stuart Smith