The Hedonistic Taster | № 35 | Smith-Madrone, Napa Valley

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 35 | Smith-Madrone, Napa Valley

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML


“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples. The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.

These tasting notes compliment  binNotes | Affordable Burgundy, bubbles and beyond.“Beyond” includes existing and emerging producers of Pinot Noir worldwide.

Today’s Tasting: Smith-Madrone | Spring Mountain District,  Napa Valley, CA.

Here are some shocking Wine Country après-wildfire statistics:

According to a Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute study on the impact of last year’s Wine County wildfires, 99.8 %  of California’s North Coast vineyard acres were not affected by the fires. Moreover, 93 % of wineries surveyed reported no structural damage or long-term impact.

What does this mean?

It means that you need to hop on over to Napa and Sonoma ASAP.

Ask these fine folks how they’re doing. Taste their wines. Eat their farm-to-table food pairings sourced from local farms that also survived the wildfires.

These are proud, passionate, resilient people. People eager, willing and grateful to share the bounty of Wine Country with you.

I can think of no better place to start than Smith-Madrone Vineyards and Wineryon Spring Mountain in Napa Valley.

Founded in 1971 by Stuart Smith, Smith-Madrone straddles Spring Mountain atop steep, rocky, dry-farmed slopes rising between 1,300-2,000 feet. Today the Smith family, including enologist Stu, brother and wine maker Charles, and son and assistant winemaker Sam, produce ~4,000 cases of small-lot, artisanal wines annually from this 200-acre ranch overlooking Napa Valley.

Smith-Madrone wines represents the graceful soul of Old Napa combined with the unbreakable spirit of Napa Reborn – supple, approachable, with a powerful core of mountain je ne c’est quoi. A good place to start, indeed.

Smith Madrone 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District – Napa Valley.

Wine: Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol:  13.9 %

Suggested Retail:  $52

Link to Producer Specs


Robe:  Opaque garnet-ruby robe.

Nose:  Dark fruits, tomato leaf, tobacco, black tea, capsicum back-note.

Palate: Medium body, firm tannins, balanced bouche, lengthy finish. Age-worthy for the patient; savor-worthy now for those who eschew delayed gratification.


Smith Madrone 2015 Chardonnay, Spring Mountain District – Napa Valley.

Wine: Smith- Madrone Spring Mountain District Chardonnay

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:  14.9%

Suggested Retail:  $34

Link to Producer Specs


Robe:  Pale gold robe.

Nose:  Apricot, nectarine, fleurs blanches.

Palate: Light body, lush florals and stone fruit bouche, unctuous finish.

Learn more about Smith-Madrone here.

Tastings by appointment only.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

Always nice to hear from you, dear readers!  Please feel free to leave your comments below and on social media – cheers!

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

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