Founded by the brothers Smith (Madrone is not a partner in the human sense, but the natural evergreen trees which abound on the property) in 1971 the estate has been planted with an interesting combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling.
As many of my wine club members know well, Napa Valley has been looking for a white wine accompaniment to their worldwide success of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Smith Madrone feels that white wine might not be Chardonnay (a 1970′s favorite), or Sauvignon Blanc (the current favorite) but Riesling. As you might expect with any Napa Valley winery growing Riesling, the idea here is to achieve balance between fruit and acidity. As a Riesling fan myself, these are interesting wines because they are so much lower in acidity than their German counterparts. Germany of course isn’t the ancestral home to Riesling, but has taken it to heights not seen elsewhere especially lately!
Prices for all varietals from Smith Madrone winery are reasonable and scores stand in the high eighty point range, making this an interesting stop for value minded consumers during a visit to Napa Valley. It’s part of our regular tasting circuit that we bring people on who aren’t familiar with Napa Valley, there simply aren’t many places who make good Riseling in and around Napa Valley.