Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Spring Mountain District
In spite of the drought and the Napa earthquake, the 2014 harvest produced an abundant crop and excellent expectations for the vintage. The 2013/2014 winter was one of the driest on record in California and rainfall totals on Spring Mountain were approximately half of normal. A long-term benefit of the drought is that berry sizes are typically smaller and have more concentrated flavors, which may explain the terrific quality of the 2014 harvest. This wine opens with a concentrated nose of dark fruits, leading with notes of boysenberry and plum. The palate is remarkably seamless, an elegantly integrated mouthful with a velvety, silky texture which leaves you realizing how winemaking can ‘distill’ a grape into a powerful perfume, the essence of Cabernet Sauvignon. Old school and old world in its approach, this wine projects finesse, grace and balance, all supported by the backbone of a mountain vineyard pedigree. Superb now, with a finish which almost doesn’t finish, this wine will certainly age wonderfully for at least twenty-five years.