One of those wines at the first sniff you’re just like, Come on, man! Absolute perfection in the glass, from the clear, legal-pad glow to the piles of petrol and grassy lychee in the nose. A dustiness coats the diesel, smoothed with banana-peel and citrus so mild it barely registers a vote. Rich and almost oily in bouquet, it still portrays the sort of clairvoyance few wines possess. As is classic with this variety, fruit takes a back seat in the nose to ALL the crazy savory and voluptuous goodness going on. Oh… Riesling…. Such a stupendously tarnished enigma.

And then you taste it. We’re headed into 7 years on this bottle, so the glow is just starting to pop. And glow it does. Brittle tertiary fills the mouth, a prospect of greatness merely hinted at this young age but already exploding the corridors of possibility. Plum and peach fuzz, un-ripe raspberry and raw red potato skin: all buoyed on thick honey-nectar dripping with sandpaper. The tannic and acid LIFE of this wine is laid out for contemplated dissection within the fruit, though the complexity contained mutes easy description. It’s sweet. It’s dry. It’s light. It’s tropical and plush. But it’s also jackhammer-serious.

I suppose someone pre-disposed to *yummy* white wine could quaff this and decree it “fantastic”. That would be a waste. I suppose someone flatulently nerded into German and Alsatian Rieslings could call it gratuitous and cloying. That would bring a *sigh* but I get it. I suppose someone ingratiated by fruit and beauty and balance could call it stunning. Decadent. Absolute perfection. Delicious. Near-incomprehensible charm and gorgeous in texture and spirit. I choose the latter.

2014 SMITH-MADRONE Riesling Spring Mt. District Napa Valley 12.8


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