- BRIANNE COHEN Bri's Best Bottles (6/2021): "Smith-Madrone is a pioneer of Napa Valley, especially Spring Mountain, which can be cooler than the rest of the Valley because of elevation. A Napa Chardonnay for those who don’t dig Napa Chardonnay. Restrained and Old World in style. The fermentation starts in stainless steel tanks and then moves to barrel to complete the fermentation. It is then aged in 85% new French oak for 10 months. How do we get a “not too oaky” Chardonnay with that much new oak? The secret is that they source tightly grained barrels, which impart less oak aromas and flavors than looser grained ones. I learned something new today with that tidbit!"
- COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE, Rich Mauro: "From a dry farmed, mountain-grown estate vineyard, the wine shows light oak notes preceding intense, tangy fruit, a touch of almond and a graceful palate. A fabulous value."
- THE CHALK REPORT, Andy Chalk (5/2021): "Consistency might be the watchword at Smith-Madrone, a winery that perennially turns out good quality wines at non-stratospheric prices. This chardonnay will win over most schools of chardonnay lover. While in an indubitably New World style it doesn’t mask the intrinsic qualities of this remarkable grape, resulting in satisfaction on several levels. Appearance: Deep gold. Nose: Intense tropical fruit (mango, pineapple). Lemon, ripe apricot, vanilla. Palate: As well as confirming the fruit in the nose this wine has a pronounced phenolic backbone. This translates into a lasting, satisfying finish."
- DRINKHACKER, Christopher Null (5/2021): "A touch of spice up top gives this fairly traditional, moderately oaked chardonnay some pep, with thick notes of vanilla and a solid punch of lemon curd quickly developing on the palate. Some melon and strong honeysuckle notes emerge on the finish, with biting acidity and added lemon peel notes giving the wine a distinct food-friendliness. "
- ATTORNEY SOMM, John Jordan (4/2021): "I recently tasted the 2017 Chardonnay. Smith-Madrone has 7.5 acres of Chardonnay vines. Because Chardonnay performs best in cooler temperatures, these Chardonnay vines were strategically planted in the coolest vineyard on the estate with north-facing slopes.
The 2017 Chardonnay is impressive! The flavor profile was almost as rich as the golden hue. The intriguing flavor profile included pineapple, peach, Meyer lemon, blood orange peel, honeysuckle, oak and spice mix. There was a rich, creamy mouthful. This wine was full-bodied and opulent, yet well-balanced with ample acidity! This wine paired perfectly with perfect weather and a lazy Saturday on the patio!
The best view comes after the hardest climb. Or in the case of Napa's Spring Mountain, after a hard drive up a long and winding mountain road! But once you reach the summit you can enjoy spectacular views and equally impressive wines! Near the top of Spring Mountain, for example, you will find Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery. Founded 50 years ago, Smith-Madrone has 34 acres of vineyards on its 200-acre ranch. The vineyards are planted on steep slopes at elevations ranging from 1,300-2,000 feet. Smith-Madrone was an early proponent of dry farming. Dry farming causes the grapevines to struggle and search of water and nutrients. The result is lower yields with small grapes that have high skin-to-juice ratios and produce concentrated fruit. This fruit, in turn, leads to wine with greater intensity and concentration than wine made from grapes that are the product of high yields."
- KATHLEEN WILCOX (4/2021): "Sun-yellow, peaches, apricots, buttered toasted biscuits, caramelized white flowers, earth and pears."
- EVE WINE 101, Eve Bushman (4/2021): "Sweet cream, vanilla bean, crème brûlée, unsweetened butter – just a lot of vanilla/dairy notes on the nose that I found really interesting. From there I also got toasted oak, caramel candy, fresh sliced apple and pears in light syrup. Wasn’t sure what to expect from the taste but in I went…and found a full and round mouthfeel, mild acidity – not as much creaminess as I expected from the nose but wholly pleasant – some earth, the pears and apple again as well as a hint of buttery corn on the cob. And hour later my husband and I were just finishing the bottle, and even with less chill on the wine, it was still being discussed. Wowza, I want this one again. I had this with a Falafel burger with lettuce, pickles and tomatoes. Again, it was perfect."
- DRINK NATURE IN PHOTOGRAPHY (2/2021): "Alluring and soft this delicious acid-driven Chardonnay, which is made from Smith Madrone's dry-farmed estate, has just the right amount of citrus, spice and smoke layered in with the green and stone fruit aromas and flavors. Tangy and dancing with texture from the barrel fermentation I really enjoyed the succulent finish and intriguing nuances that kept inviting me in for another sip. This Chardonnay was really lovely on all accounts."
- CALIFORNIA WINES AND WINERIES, Michael Kelly (2/2021): "Once in the glass you are greeted by a shiny golden straw color with light-medium viscosity. The clarity of the wine is pronounced. On the nose, honeysuckle and a muted lemon are the key aromas. Once in the palate, this is where this “clean gem” shines. Light oak (aged 10 months in 85% new French), minerality (the entire estate is dry farmed), a light creaminess of beeswax with hints of green apple and peach. The finish is crisp and lively like an upbeat jazz tune. Layers of complexity and structure are evident in this wonderful wine. This is an excellent stand-alone sipping Chardonnay.
The food pairing was so appropriate with this clean wine. Paired with a straight forward charcuterie tray of Tillamook aged smoked cheddar and Kerry Irish cheddar cheeses. Glazed pecans and crackers accompanied the wine and allowed it true character to shine through.
I was surprised and delighted by the uniqueness of this dry farmed Chardonnay (something you don’t find everyday) and its clarity and crispness was a welcomed embrace."
- JEB DUNNUCK: "Revealing a deeper gold hue, this has a slightly evolved style, yet it stays fresh and lively on the palate, with bright yet integrated acidity. Notes of caramelized orange brioche, marzipan and honeyed flowers give way to a medium-bodied, balanced Chardonnay that I suspect will age nicely for 4-6 years. "
- 94 Punkte und "Editor's Choice WINE ENTHUSIAST, Virginie Boone: "This barrel-fermented white opens in oaky intensity before settling into flavors of kiwi, lime and green apple. Complex and structured, it has a graceful heartiness and offers tremendous value for the quality."
- 93 Punkte TASTING PANEL MAGAZINE, Meredith May: "The dry-farmed vines on the Smith family’s Spring Mountain estate produced this wine of distinction, whose accents of chamomile and lemon verbena on the nose lead to a palate of beeswax and stony minerality. Peach nectar enters midway, unleashing a flow of honey within an angular frame. Aged 10 months in 85% new French oak."
- BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD, Frederic Koeppel (12/2020): "All the wines display a remarkable dedication to authenticity, integrity and terroir....
The Chardonnay feels so pure, so intense, so crystalline that it transcends categories and regions. It spent 10 months in French oak, 85 percent new barrels. The color is medium gold; notes of classic pineapple and grapefruit unfurl touches of cloves, sandalwood and jasmine, flint and crushed gravel; as with most great wines, it embodies paradoxes in an exquisite balance of tension and resolution, so while the texture is dense, almost talc-like in weight, it’s also sleek, lithe and supple, riven by a thread of bright acidity; a few moments in the glass bring out elements of lemon balm and lemon curd, quince and ginger, and a strain of sea-flecked iodine. Drink now through 2025 to ’27. Certainly one of the best chardonnays from California that I tasted this year. Exceptional. About $40, representing Good Value."
- VINTAGE EXPERINECES, Dan Berger (12/2020): "The first word that comes to mind when you get a whiff of this stylish and exciting wine is that it reminds you of what Spring Mountain Chardonnays used to smell like in the days before everyone resorted to complete malolactic fermentations, higher alcohols, the use of the use of residual sugar, and new French oak to help cover the fruit. Yet another example of how stylish dry-farmed, mountain-grown Chardonnay can deliver a food-oriented, complete experience that holds together with great acidity and balance. Leaning a bit more toward Puligny than Batard, it in fact does have a very slight nod toward White Burgundy, and delivers a lot more after another couple of years in the bottle. This is a wine that does not need much chilling."
- 94 Punkte TERROIRIST, Isaac Baker: "Deep yellow color. Inviting, complex aromas of apple butter, lemon curd, grapefruit zesty, topped in notes of honey, graham cracker, sea salt and ginger. Harmonious, complex nose for sure. Rich texture on the palate, the creaminess is matched by this racy, salty aesthetic. Lemon curd, yellow apple and apricot fruit meld well with white tea, graham cracker and ginger, along with these stony, mineral, mountain stream elements. Consistently, such an overperforming Chardonnay that screams value, and the 2017 is a really expressive, vibrant iteration. Aged 10 months in 85% new French oak."
- 96 Punkte WINE REVIEW ONLINE, Rich Cook: "There's nothing quite like local knowledge when it comes to being able to roll with what comes your way, and I can't think of anywhere that this could be more applicable than in the world of making truly fine wine. As brothers Stu and Charlie Smith (and next generation son Sam) approach fifty years on Spring Mountain, it seems there's no curve ball that's been thrown their way that they can't manage to hit out of the park, so to speak. This vintage of the dry farmed estate grown Chardonnay is a grand slam of a wine, layered with complex apple, lemon and grilled pineapple fruit, well folded oak toast and racy acidity that just pumps the flavor mix endlessly. It's one of their riper Chardonnay offerings, but it's exquisitely managed and shows plenty of structure for aging. I could drink this bottle all the way down, but I think I'll use the rest to spread the gospel a little bit. Bravo!"
- VINOGRAPHY, Alder Yarrow (9/2020): "Smith-Madrone has long been a favorite producer of mine up on Napa’s Spring Mountain. Their Chardonnay leans towards the richer side of the grape, but there’s plenty of acid and salinity in the wine to make it enjoyable. Light yellow-gold in color, this wine smells of buttered popcorn and butterscotch. In the mouth, intense buttered popcorn and lemon curd flavors have a wonderfully saline quality that, along with excellent acidity, keeps the mouth-watering. Notes of melted butter and toasted oak linger in the finish with a touch of grapefruit and a faint hint of alcoholic heat. Rich and on the ripe side, but quite tasty."
- 4* SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT, Peg Melnik (8/2020): "A juicy chardonnay, rich yet balanced. Notes of lemon, peach and mineral. Citrusy finish. Just lovely."
|Im Weinberg:||100% Estate Grown am Spring Mountain District Keine Bewässerung|
|Im Weinkeller:||10 Monate in Französischer Eiche (80% neu)|
|% vol Alk:||14,5|
|Potenziell allergene Substanzen:||Enthält Sulfite. Kann Spuren von Eiweiß, Gelatine und Milch enthalten.|
|Importeur/Inverkehrbringer:||Schreiblehner Wein bewegt, Gewerbepark Lindach B1, D-84489 Burghausen|
|Warnungen:||Der Konsum von alkoholhaltigen Getränken während der Schwangerschaft kann selbst in geringen Mengen schwere Konsequenzen für die Gesundheit des Kindes nach sich ziehen.|
|Hersteller:||Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery, PO Box 451, St. Helena, CA 94574, USA|