Charles and Stuart Smith have been farming on Spring Mountain since the early 1970s. The soils there are weathered volcanic, stony, and filled with clay, and this steep vineyard, which sits at 1,800 feet, is dry farmed. The wine is a cuvée of 84 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 16 percent Cabernet Franc, raised for 18 months in French oak, about two-thirds new. Twelve-hundred cases were made.
The color is deep cherry and the aromas are profuse: juniper, sandalwood, cedar, red currant, red cherries. The flavors continue this theme without an overt filigree of barrel, the black cherry and cassis washing the mid-palate. The structure derives from a balance of acidity and tannin, the latter insinuating itself over time.
This is a thoughtfully crafted wine, nicely integrated and a good value for a single-vineyard, high-elevation, Spring Mountain District Cabernet.
2015 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District Napa Valley
14.3% abv | $52 (sample)