Yellow deepening now at 4. Ashy floral nose, nice petrol and grip, touches of lavender dishwater, with the crispness of bright green pear and the savory warmth of cashmere.
Easily one of my favorite Rieslings made in the new world–certainly California–rich and flavorful. My biggest problems with Riesling are usually austerity and weirdness. There are so many light, thin, uncomplicated white wines out there, why should my Riesling be that way? This is also why I typically don’t need them bone-dry. Likewise weirdness. As with any variety which achieves cult hipster-wine status, there’s gonna be some people making them weird. Don’t do that. Smith-Madrone Rieslings have never even remotely had either of these problems for me. Big and lovely, enticing and complex, never an off note, never a dull moment. And they’ve been doing this for 40 years, right smack dab under everybody’s noses in Napa Valley. Napa Valley Riesling???? Yup.
In the mouth, cool powerful goodness. Rooty clamoring against a shrill core of bitter vegetation cuttings and powdered herbs. I’m drinking this at 60°, probably a far dorkier temperature than is acceptable or even recommended, but it is pushing all the buttons up here. I was drinking it cooler a few hours ago and it honestly went *light* and far more uninteresting. YOU’RE DRINKING YOUR WHITE WINES TOO COLD, PEOPLE. I love the way the tannin comes curling in on the acid and funk late-middle, ridiculously concentrated, balanced with sweet but nearly face-melting. This is a powerful wine, mouthfilling and stunning, good for the LONG RUN. Would love to taste this in 20 years.
2015 SMITH-MADRONE Riesling Spring Mountain Napa Valley 12.9