Trefethen Family Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir Oak Knoll District ($45)
Peel away the layers of a wine, and you’ll often find that the people behind the label are one of the most intriguing parts of the story. What brought the vintners or growers to this point? What luck or derailments have they experienced along the way?
Stu and Charlie Smith have volumes to tell; they’ve been on Spring Mountain since the early 1970s. Armed with Berkeley degrees, they combine smarts with a no-nonsense approach, and make wines, like this Riesling, that don’t just show deliciously attractive fruit, but a depth of aromas that reveal themselves slowly and seductively in the glass. Put this Riesling next to many others, and you’ll see the difference. Even Germany, the quintessential home of the Riesling grape, recently purchased a pallet of Smith Madrone Riesling!
For parts of their story, visit smithmadrone.com. To experience their “salt-of-the-earth” character and incredible line-up of wines, you’ll need to make an appointment and head up the hill.