2004 Smith-Madrone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1048077

93 points from Wine Enthusiast: "This is the opposite of the gooey, cult-style wines grown down on the valley benches and floor. It's pure mountain in the tannins, acidity and dryness, with below 14% alcohol. It's a food wine, with cassis, cedar and mineral flavors. Should age well for a decade." (09/09) 90 points and a Best Buy, Wine & Spirits: "Plump currant flavors give this Cabernet a rich profile...This needs at least five years for the structure to relent and the pure fruit to come forward." (07/09)

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Price: $34.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/28/2011 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
Believe or not there are still a handful of Cabernet producers in California, and specifically in Napa Valley, that produce Cabernet the way it used to be made back in the 1950s, `60s, `70s, and `80s; wines with structure, backbone, balance, complexity, reasonable alcohol levels and that can age gracefully for a decade or more. And, it is obvious that this small lot of traditional producers couldn’t care less how many 90+ points are given by certain wine critics or publications. The Smith-Madrone Winery and Vineyard, located three quarters the way up Spring Mountain overlooking Saint Helena, is among this tiny handful of traditionalist. Their 2004 Estate Cabernet is deeply colored with opulent, powerful aromas of cassis, currants, blackberries, and violets, highlighted by cedar and a stone-y minerality. All this carries over, nicely, in the mouth with the added feature of silky integrated, fine tannins, excellent acid structure, wonderful complexity and layers of fruit, and a finish that lingers and lingers and… Anderson and I have had a case and half of this excellent Gem in our cellar for the past two years and, occasionally, uncork a bottle to have with a special dinner, and it keeps getting better and better. And, it is under 14% alcohol. (Jim Barr)
Drink from 2011 to 2020

Staff Image By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/8/2011 | Send Email
This is a great California Spring Mountain Cabernet, wonderful layers and great mature fruit, rich and ripe dark fruit very luscious and silky finish. Pull the cork and you are good to go!

Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/28/2010 | Send Email
This is a great example of how dynamic the wines of Napa Valley can be! Composed of all dry-farmed fruit from Spring Mountain, it displays notes of dark fruit, cacao nib, cedar and violets. All though drinking well now, this wine has plenty of structure to spend a bit of time in the cellar.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/8/2010 | Send Email
My favorite California Cabernets all come from fruit grown at high elevation with Howel mountain and Spring mountain being two of my favorites. This bottling comes from Estate planting high up on Spring Mountain and it shows in the depth of the fruit and the intensity of the structure. With several years of bottle age this 2004 is drinking well now but could easily go another decade in a cool cellar. This is half the price you would expect to pay for a bottle from the Spring Mountain District and a flat out outstanding wine.

Additional Information:


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.

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.


- 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.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9