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)
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.
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.
A silky red with blackberry, currant and mahogany character. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold.
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)