We’re delighted to participate in BerserkerDay IX.
In case we’re new to you …this is what Todd French had to say on his recent visit …
Lots of accolades have come our way…we may be proudest of having been chosen as The Daily Meal’s Winery of the Year in 2014, and to have been in the top ten of their 2017 Best Wineries in America. Our wine has also been featured in the Top 100 Wines in Wine & Spirits Magazine.Todd F r e n c h wrote:“One of the most recommended wineries when I asked for 'mountain fruit' recommendations for this trip, and I see why. Ridiculous value for the quality of the wine, and across the board fantastic wines, so I'm definitely buying. The Chardonnay is incredible, considering it has 100% new oak! It tastes NOTHING like any other Chardonnay I've had with 100% new oak, and Charles was saying that they discovered, after much trial and error, that for some reason, this mountain fruit just 'handles' the new oak well. It's full of acidity, and well balanced, and has no 'popcorn'/butter component whatsoever.
The Estate Cabernet is a ridiculous value for mountain Cabernet Sauvignon - has that 'mountain fruit' nose I love so much, great mouthfeel and tannic structure, but drinks well now as well, with the '14 release.
The Riesling was what we finished with, and it is very Alsatian in character - dry but ample sweetness for 'typical' Riesling food pairings, but what makes this wine really stand out is its acidity - really strong, yet perfectly balanced. One of the best domestic Rieslings I've ever had, by far. So much longevity in this family operation, and I was awed by the size of their facility (small) compared with their relatively large production, particularly considering they hold their wines often before releasing them, which is a pricey proposition that benefits the customer more than them, for certain!”
We were very proud to have won the Gault-Millau Wine Olympics in Paris for our Riesling in 1979. We are long-time champions of this varietal; in the 1980s Stu fought to have American Riesling be indicated on the label as “Riesling” vs. the former nomenclature “Johannisberg Riesling.” He was successful in that fight and in 1984 the BATF did change their regulations. We were also honored by having been named the best Riesling in North America in Stuart Pigott’s book Best Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story.
P.S. Just can’t resist: a little more Smith-Madrone reading: on Riesling, on Chardonnay, on Cabernet Sauvignon and Cook’s Flat.
FARMING: Smith-Madrone is a pioneer of dry farming. Stu Smith explains in this video.LOCATION & COORDINATES: 4022 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, California 94574
Phone 707/963-2283; Fax 707/963-2291 http://www.smithmadrone.com, email@example.com
http://www.cooksflatreserve.com Open by appointment only at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. Tasting fee is $25 per person; this fee is waived with a wine purchase.
FOUNDED: 1971, by Stuart Smith
MANAGEMENT: Stuart Smith, Managing Partner, Enologist; Charles F. Smith III, Winemaker, Sam Smith, Assistant Winemaker
MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS: The vineyards sit at elevations between 1,300 and 2,000 feet, on steep slopes which range up to 34%.
ESTATE : All wines made entirely from the winery's dry-farmed estate vineyards surrounding the winery on top of Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Stuart Smith chose specific slopes with different exposures for specific varietals when planting the vineyards: eastern exposure for Riesling, southern and western exposures across flat stretches for the Cabernet Sauvignon and the coolest north-facing slopes for the Chardonnay. There are numerous historical sights on the ranch, as well as the huge array of natural beauty and wildlife.
SOIL: The soils are mostly deep-red Aiken Stoney Clay loam, part of the Aiken, Kidd, Forward complex of soils which are volcanic-based, well-drained and deep for mountain soils. The underlying geology is the Franciscan Assemblage, unique to California coastal ranges, which includes altered mafic volcanic rocks, deep-sea radiolarian cherts, sandstones, limestones, serpentines, shales and high-pressure metamorphic rocks, all of them faulted and mixed in a seemingly chaotic manner as a result of tectonic plate activity. The soils are rocky, with some as large as small cars.