Good lemon zest off a nose reflective of the deep golden color. Pitchy and green, a briar-asphalt coating to generous oak and dusty, lazy, warm summer sunshine. Dark roasted melon slowly deteriorates on compost–a welcome earthy counter-point to the well-dressed spice and generous Chardonnay fullness.

Thick and full in the mouth–gobs more of that golden Chardonnay energy and decadence, powerfully tinged in acid and tannin. Cool, watery nectarine and a hint of pear flows over the middle, pungent green tea and white pepper don’t let you dabble on the fruit too long at this young age, swarming in and inundating the palate with depth and body–ushering in the tannin these wines are known for.

Beautiful on all accounts, but a shame to drink Smith-Madrone chard at this age. Look at it as a barrel sample: purchase accordingly. One of those 20-year Chards, for sure. Buy two cases–drink one a year. Invite me over when you do it.

2017 SMITH-MADRONE Chardonnay Spring Mt. Napa Valley 14.6

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