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Smith Madrone Riesling 2014

Riesling from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • W&S92
  • D91
12.8% ABV
  • WE93
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3.9 6 Ratings
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3.9 6 Ratings
12.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A nose of honeysuckle, orange blossom, crisp citrus fruits and minerality is followed by touches of white peach and pear. The wine is very dry, smooth, discreetly elegant with a bright acidity and a silky mouthfeel. The aftertaste lingers on the palate with a refreshing zing of crisp citrus fruits. This wine is made from mountain grown grapes, honoring the international tradition of Riesling which thrives on steep hillsides.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Entirely estate grown from dry-farmed grapes, this white sparkles with waxy apricot and pear flavors and crisp, underlying mineral stoniness. Dry, with refreshing acidity, it doesn't skimp on mouthfeel, delivering a viscosity that's invitingly complex and lingering.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Entirely estate grown from dry-farmed grapes, this white sparkles with waxy apricot and pear flavors and crisp, underlying mineral stoniness. Dry, with refreshing acidity, it doesn't skimp on mouthfeel, delivering a viscosity that's invitingly complex and lingering.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
From Stu and Charles Smith’s 42-year-old riesling vines high up Spring Mountain, this captures the sage-like scent of the hills in a refreshing and discreetly elegant white. Hints of orange blossom and lemon zest fill out the mineral-inflected acidity, then the wine juices up again in the finish, clean and refreshing. Chill it for any roast fish. (1,551 cases)
D 91
Decanter
Lemon, honey, cinnamon and peppermint dominate on the nose, completed by a juicy, sweet grapefruit palate. There's sufficient zesty acidity to make it refreshing, backed by typical Riesling characters that last on the finish.
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Smith Madrone

Smith Madrone

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Smith Madrone, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
Image of winery
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.

Spring Mountain District

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Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.

A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.

During the growing season late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.

Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

In the Glass

Riesling typically produces wine with relatively low alcohol, high acidity, steely minerality and stone fruit, spice, citrus and floral notes. At its ripest, it leans towards juicy peach, nectarine and pineapple, while cooler climes produce Rieslings more redolent of meyer lemon, lime and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of petrol.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is quite versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice) and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

VWMSLRS14_2014 Item# 167923