2012 Smith-Madrone Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon (Previously $47)

SKU #1230299 94 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is quite a bit more polished than the 2011. Ripe, voluptuous and very much in the style of the year, the 2012 is a showy wine, with plenty of intensity and resonance. At the same time, there is plenty of tannic backbone lurking beneath that gives the wine its power and overall structure. These are the first wines I have tasted from Smith Madrone and proprietor Stu Smith in some time. Smith Madrone is located on Spring Mountain, one of the most pedigreed sites for growing Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. The three vintages I tasted of the estate's Cabernet Sauvignon are all solid. (AG)  (6/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Grown on the producer’s 1,800-foot-high, dry-farmed property west of St. Helena from 40-year-old vines, this is a great wine, structured and elegantly designed to highlight cassis, clove and cigar. Thick, heady tannins soften in the glass, allowing room for enviable structure and a black pepper-dotted finish.  (7/2016)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Minty and tense, this is a narrow vintage of cabernet from the heights of Spring Mountain. There’s black-fruited flesh to it, along with pine-forest scents that make it both rich and skinny. (Can a wine ever be too skinny and too rich?) A potent, youthful cabernet, this is built for the cellar.  (10/2015)

90 points James Suckling

 A silky red with blackberry, currant and mahogany character. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold.  (7/2015)

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By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/31/2016 | Send Email
This tasty mountain Cab is full of bright currant, cranberry, wild cherry fruits and that classic mountain spice and tobacco note. Vibrant throughout, with a touch of oak and broad tannin to lend enough structure for some aging. Beautiful wine.

By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/12/2016 | Send Email
Smith-Madrone is far from a household name in the world of Napa Valley wines, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be. High atop Spring Mountain nestled near other well known wineries like Pride, Paloma, Cain and Philip Togni, their Cab has become a staple of our domestic selection, and highly recommended from the great 2012 vintage. The winery was founded back in 1971 by the Smith brothers, Stuart and Charles and they have made some of the best Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet that Napa Valley has to offer without any of the inflated price tags and egos that can sometimes go along with the territory. Always decidedly rustic, or old-school, or old-world or whatever other buzz word you want to choose for wines that are more traditional in their style Smith Madrone is for fans of wines of another generation, or maybe even another place all together.
With layers of eucalyptus, bay leaf, black olive, wild blackberry and blooming fennel on the nose you just don’t see a lot of this style of Cabernet made in the Valley these days. Dense, chewy and full of power all without excess sugar, extraction or winemaking polish this is a brooding Cabernet based on the mountainous earth in which it comes from. Full of savory, almost meaty, flavors this Cabernet has much more in common with the classic wines of Pessac-Leognan or what was being made in the ‘70‘s in Napa than with the uber-ripe 15% ABV, “made” wines that are dominating Napa today. So if you like you Bond more Moore than Craig, you think R2D2 is much superior to BB8 and you prefer V8s to Hybrids then this just may be the wine for you.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/11/2016 | Send Email
Cranberry, black currant and leather on the nose. On the palate, rich dark fruit blends with deep flavors of oak to create flavors of anise, cocoa and clove. The wine has great structure; satisfying medium-bodied tannins and good acid that perfectly balances out the wine's richness. This is a very elegant Cabernet Sauvignon.

By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/9/2016 | Send Email
This is a very solid made wine, made during a generous and classic harvest year. It greeted me with a gracious nose of raspberries, some forest and tobacco leaves. The plush and velvet like structure of the tannin is more approachable now then some I have others I have tried from the same vintage. The plumpness and almost juicy fruit is a great sign that some aging of this bad boy will be rewarded with even more quality. Enjoy! 14.2% ABV

By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/8/2016 | Send Email
I cannot agree more with Andrew's comments below. This wine is fantastic! Notes of green bell pepper, dark cherry, licorice, cassis and blackberry fruit wind into a deep and structured finish. Though this wine is drinking very well now, toss a couple in your cellar and revisit them in 3-5 years... Your patience will be rewarded.

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/8/2016 | Send Email
Classic mountain California Cabernet lovers need to take note of this wine. Powerful tannins and a serious mint and herb note underlay the cool fruit and ripe berry notes that are indicative of 2012. This wine has all the benchmarks of being one to cellar for a few years, however because of the ripeness of the 2012 vintage it can also be enjoyed now. A serious Cabernet without needing a huge price tag, pick up some to enjoy now and some to enjoy later.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.