2016 Smith Madrone Estate Riesling
Vintage : 2016
Country : USA
Region : Napa Valley
This wine is bright, clean and delicious with a solid core of minerality surrounded by grace notes of citrus fruit and honeysuckle. This wine can only enhance their alreadysolid reputation as a producer of great Riesling.
Smith-Madrone is a family-run estate-bottled winery dedicated to producing fine wines exclusively from its own vineyards. The winery was founded in 1971 with the purchase of 200 acres high atop Spring Mountain west of St. Helena in the northern Napa Valley.
One of the least-known and most scenic appellations of the Napa Valley, the Spring Mountain District was recognized by the B.A.T.F. in May of 1993.The winery enjoys dramatic views of the floor of the Napa Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance, as well as of its own steep dry-farmed vineyards. Smith-Madrone is located at elevations between 1,600 and 1,800 feet 1,300 and 1,900. The vines flourish in vividly red and rocky volcanic soil known as Aiken loam, which is well-drained and friable.
This wine is made from mountain grown grapes, honoring the international tradition of Riesling which thrives on steep hillsides. At Smith-Madrone our goal is to make artisanal wines which are distinctive and are an expression of both the vintage and us as vintners, but above all else, are wines which bring pleasure to the senses. Every year our wine is made from the same vineyards, pruned by the same people in the same way, cultivated in exactly the same manner and harvested at similar levels of maturity, yet Mother Nature stamps each vintage with a unique set of flavors, senses and character. Vintage dating is a celebration of that uniqueness and diversity.
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.
FARMING: Smith-Madrone is a pioneer of dry farming.
All wines are Spring Mountain District appellation, all wines are estate-grown and estate-bottled.
95 points Wine Enthusiast
Opening with a lovely mix of apricot, green apple and petrol, this wine offers enviable structure, complexity and balance. Lush on the midpalate, it never loses focus, retaining mineral-like stoniness and linear, fresh acidity.
91 points James Suckling
Grapefruit, kiwi fruit, fresh cloves, spices and smoke are the main attraction on the nose. A tangy core of stone and green fruit is supported by crunchy acidity on the palate, which is medium-to full-bodied and delicious.
90 points Jeb Dunnuck
Lots of classic lychee, lime, and white grapefruit notes emerge from the 2016 Riesling, which is medium-bodied and has a kiss of sweetness, balancing acidity, and a great finish. This beautiful, outstanding Riesling is going to age nicely for at least a decade.