This is the perfect Chardonnay to quell any disagreement over whether to pour an oak-influenced or a non-oaked Chardonnay wine. Smith Madrone beautifully melds the best of both worlds with their 2015 from Spring Mountain. Rich pear, and yellow and red apple fruits are supported, but not surpassed, by refined toasty, spicy (cinnamon, faint clove and fresh ginger) complexity.
Want to taste this Chardonnay while taking in one of the best views of Napa Valley? Head up the forested roads in the western hills of St. Helena to Smith Madrone; you won’t be disappointed. At those heights, you feel like you can conquer the world. Be sure to make a reservation; this is a special visit. Smithmadrone.com
Catherine Bugue is the Star’s tasting panel writer. Her weekly pursuit of a good glass of wine provides a nice supply of choices for the Wine of the Week column. If you’d like to submit a Napa Valley wine for this column, please send it to the Napa Valley Wine Academy, 2501 Oak St., Napa, CA 94559. There’s no guarantee your wine will be chosen to be featured, but all wines will be evaluated and considered.