How compatible is our Cab for Turkey?!’s wine editor recommends the ’05 Cab: “…the perfect all-American Cab to call on for celebrating Thanksgiving. Limited production, dry-farmed and crafted by two brothers, Stuart and Charles Smith, this Cab is remarkable for its concentration, intensity, overall balance and final finesse. Bringing a truly artisanal wine to the table with a mix of red and black fruit, plenty of power and an undeniable presence, this is a top pick for the holidays.”

2005 Cabernet as seen by Rich Cook, WineWiseWeb

San Diego-based Rich Cook reviews the wine:  

Winemakers/proprietors Stuart and Charles Smith are dedicated to making quality wines at fair prices that show a sense of time and place and solid varietal character. This wine is a shining example of this focus. The nose exhibits blackberry, black cherry, bell pepper, dried herbs, cassis and light toasted oak. The palate brings direct delivery of the nose elements with solid acidity, supple tannins and a depth and richness not commonly seen in Napa Cabs these days. All the flavor elements remain through the long complex finish. This is classic, ageworthy Napa Cabernet. Check out his blog here:

2005 Cab an ‘exceptional value’

Blogger Gabe Sasso writes about the 2005 Cabernet: “..a remakrably even-keeled perfectly proportionate Cab…rich, textured flavors and deep layers of fruit and spice that reward sipping…an exceptional value..” Read his entire post:

Finesse and structure—-the ’05 Cab

Kind words from Sandy Wasserman in Arizona: “…With breath taking views of Napa Valley the dry farmed vineyards are anywhere from 1,300-2,000 ft. above the valley floor. Doing almost everything themselves around the vineyards and winery Charles and Stu deserve the accolades they receive.
…Soft and lush at the beginning, with good black cherry and currant fruit and medium tannins this wine has nice character and complexity. A long lingering finish on the back of the palate, “this is one of the best Cabs I’ve had all year” said my drinking companion. This is not a big Cab, with huge tannins but a Cab. with finesse and structure. With less than 1,500 cases of the 05 produced this bottle is a steal at approximately $45. If you can find it make sure you grab a bottle or 2 and while at it if you can find their Chardonnay or Riesling one should stock up on those too…”

The entire review is here:

2005 Cab from both a chef and sommelier perspective

Great idea to present the wine both ways:

 The Sommelier says…

A lively, almost Cabernet Franc like nose that entices one to dive deeper. You’ll love this wine for its ability to display its black fruit, white pepper and currant profile without being flashy—meaning it’s elegantly subdued with a lot going on; great tannin structure without being too obtrusive with a good oak regimen. Pair this with grilled red meats, or even better, a heavily peppered beef carpaccio. For my vegetarian friends, slow cooked, rich root vegetables would work well, which would enhance the richness of the wine, and the sweetness of the vegetables. The bottom line is that this is an affordable Cabernet Sauvignon worthy of attention—it is a $45 bargain from theNapaValley. ~Pamela Heiligenthal

The Chef says…

One whiff after you uncork this wine and you will know this one will need a moment to collect its composure and show its full and welcomed presence, sort of like regaining ones sea legs. Subtle and elegant—now that’s two great words seldom used these days. This wine has complexity and depth that is wasted on a lot of audiences not from the school of thought that good things only come to pass with the proper time and most importantly the proper respect. Without proper respect many would have consumed this wine and never known the intense package that lay just beneath the surface waiting for a little bit more time to reveal its luxurious fullness. Big aromas and flavors to match, the 2005 Smith–Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon stands tall among the immense competition for this varietal from this AVA. ~Marc Hinton

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon as Americana

Sasha Smith in New York reviews the ’05 Cabernet: “This economic turmoil has me hankering for simpler times, and I like to think that this is how they made Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon back in the day. Ripe but not too ripe, assertive but balanced, it’s like a little bit of Americana in a glass. You could spend some time unpacking the aromas (licorice, plum and tobacco, for starters), but the best course of action here is just to drink the damn thing—preferably accompanied by a nice, juicy steak.” Find it here:

WineLog reviews the 2005 Cabernet

Ward Kadel does a short review: “The ’05 Smith-Madrone Cab is a phenomenal effort. Full of balance and restrained power, this shows off deep black fruit, newer leather and great earth to go with its medium acidity and firm but fine tannins. Crazy good value for the cost and it garnered two WKBadges: QPRWK & OldWorldWK. Cheers!” and a longer one: ” Color: Deep ruby core, medium ruby edges, brightly colored. Nose: Deep black fruit here, with great more earthier new leather, dry anise, a very complex and lovingly brooding nose, with more of an Old World meatiness and dust to it. Palate: Full bodied, but not bombastic, this has many elements of a Left Bank Bordeaux. That deep, flinty black fruit is here too, new leather and more savory earth are here as well. Great acidity, powerful, very fine tannins coat the mouth and add some chalkiness complexity. Very good, this is severely underpriced and only increases my opinion of Spring Mountain District wines: OldWorldWK, QPRWK.” Find them at

2005 Cab reviewed by Frederic Koeppel

Fred Koeppel, blogging at BiggerThanYourHead, has written a poem about the 2005 Cabernet: please go read it! “…Plums and mulberries seep into this sharply etched profile that delves as deeply into the wine’s measureless expanse as the roots in the vineyard penetrate into the mountainside, while the finish is tenaciously dense, granitic and brooding..”