Founded in 1971 with the purchase of 200 forested acres at the top of Spring Mountain, Smith-Madrone is run by brothers Stuart and Charles Smith. 32 acres of vineyards were reclaimed (originally planted in the 1880’s) from the encroaching forest of Madrone Douglas fir and oak. From steep, dry-farmed vineyards, the vines flourish in vividly red and rocky volcanic soil. The cooler mountain temperature produces wine of intense flavor, structure and longevity. Smith-Madrone’s Cabernet Sauvignon is grown at the top of Spring Mountain (1,800-foot elevation), west of St. Helena. Age of vines: 40 years. Aromatically, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon demonstrates a heady, complex mix o black and red fruit with clear suggestions of leather, tobacco and cigar box. On balance, the aroma tips over slightly in favor of the dark fruit with the red providing an essential central component. The aroma is so intriguing it’s hard to mov on. The taste mirrors the aroma exactly. Red and black cassis fruit encased in a restrained pillow of creaminess on the mid-palate is once again in favor of the dark fruit. At the finish, the tannin and acid are restrained, but seem exactly on point. The defining characteristic of this wine is its lovely balance and harmonious construction. Not too soft, not too firm, just right.