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)

About The Author

David Honig
Founding Publisher

David Honig, the Publisher, looked at what was happening in the world of wine journalism and realized there were a lot of great writers out there at the same time paying publications, from newspapers to websites, were dropping like flies. So he created Palate Press to find the best writers and create a new forum for them to sell their best work. He is a self-educated oenophile, and defers to the tremendous experience and wisdom of the amazing staff at PALATE PRESS: The Online Wine Magazine.

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