Earlier this year I reviewed the 2017 Chardonnay and Riesling from Smith-Madrone. Eddie and I really liked the wines and my two-bottle review is here if you would like to read it. To give you an idea of how much we appreciated these wines, here was my opening:
When was the last time you tried a new wine from Napa…but wait…let me re-phrase that: When was the last time you had a wine from Napa that you never had before, that has been around since the 1970s, and that you found to be damn good? Well I was what they say “today years old” when I had chance to review three new-to-me wines from Smith-Madrone…
Now it’s time to try the just-released 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. I was really looking forward to sampling this new vintage, based on what I thought of the two I had already reviewed I hoped it would be just as great. I will share my tasting notes and then the notes from Smith-Madrone:
Lovely bottle with a deep punt, the front label showing Estate Bottled, and the date they were established: 1971. Also made note of the 14.3% alcohol. Then I anxiously got down to the tasting. Noting the color first, it was opaque and reminded me of lush blackberries. After a few swirls I noted layers of blue and black fruit, dried cherries, forest floor, milk chocolate, toasted oak, spice tingling my nose and a very slight menthol/mint. Tasting the wine proved to be exactly what I was looking for: those same layers of both fresh and dried dark fruit, green peppercorns, followed by some spice – this time tingling my tongue – and a very long finish due to the drying tannins. Tried the wine again an hour later with food and it only improved. 94 Eve points indeed.
From Smith Madrone
Aromatically, the 2018 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon fills your glass with a magic conjunction of red and black fruit, cedar, graphite and perhaps a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.
The superb nose is followed by a palate sensation of impressive size, shape and amplitude. The wine is big and beautifully textured, but with such impeccable balance. The structure becomes a dimension in and of itself. The piercing, focused aroma leads to a solid core of dark Cabernet fruit. The wine is a veritable treasure trove of aroma and flavor; it finishes long and strong with moderate fine grain tannins that suggests a long and happy future.
It is often the case that the best older wines were once the best younger wines and we are betting our fifty years of experience that the 2018 Cabernet is further proof of the truth of this wise old adage.
Vintage – 2018
Varietal – Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation – Spring Mountain District
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.