What We’re Drinking – Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon

The color is dark, almost opaque at the center. On the nose, black currant and unsweetened chocolate take the lead. The real action is on the palate. Huge black fruits, deep, but not jammy, erupt, followed by unsweetened chocolate, espresso, mint, cedar, and a meaty umami. It’s chewy and fat, a big mouth-full but not a brute. Tannins are dusty, grippy, and acids offer a good counter-balance. Together, they suggest great reward for cellar patience. Hints of violet and herbs underneath all the fruit promise evolution into a high-toned floral delight after a decade or more. Drink it today, with a big ribeye or as a snack. Or cellar it until 2023 or later and drink with lamb chops or a fine filet.  Highly Recommended. 94 points. DBH.

WHO: Smith-Madrone
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon
WHERE: California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
WHEN: 2011
HOW MUCH: $48 (media sample)