Rosé Reviews

Peg Melnik, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, October 5, 2022

A sassy rosé with high-toned, tart fruit 

2021 Rosé

Wine of the Week: A sassy rosé with high-toned, tart fruit — cherry and strawberry. Supple texture and great minerality. Balanced, with bright acidity. Finishes crisp.

Steve McIntosh, The Imbiber's Journal, August 8, 2022

A rarity among rosés

2021 Rosé

From the hard-working folks at Smith-Madrone...The deep, beguiling purple-pink color suggests an intensity and concentration that is a rarity among rosés. The intricate nose furthers that narrative with complex spices and a dizzying floral aspect. But the meat is in the palate, where this wine has more in common with a structured red than any rosé. Substantial and food-friendly, this is the whole package, and it finishes dry and clean. Very well made and unusual. A cab franc-dominated blend with merlot.

Cathy Huyghe, Forbes, August 31, 2022

A rosé that stands out...It is crisp and refreshing, but with a core of minerality. 

2021 Rosé

“Hearty” is not typically a word used to describe rosé wine, but it’s the first one that came to mind for me when I saw the color of the 2021 Smith-Madrone Rosé. It’s only the third time in their long history that Smith-Madrone has released a rosé wine, and it’s made from that producer’s own Merlot and Cabernet Franc from their estate vineyards at the top of the Spring Mountain District in Napa Valley. If a producer preserves the authenticity of their style and the “hearty” nature of their terroir, and that producer’s vineyards are on Napa’s Spring Mountain, then this is how their rosé wine must look. It’s described as an “extravagant, piercing color” that is such a “vibrant pink it’s practically radioactive.” I’d agree with that description except for the “pink,” which is so unlike the pale salmon pink color most often associated with rosé that it’s almost misleading. It is a rosé, but one that stands out. It is crisp and refreshing, but with a core of minerality. You do want to drink it during the summer, but you also know that it will flow right into sweater season just fine. Which means that this rosé is a perfect way to close the “recap” of rosé wine for the summer of 2022, largely because it represents an emerging variety of rosé options, including several of which will push the rosé summertime drinking season well beyond Labor Day weekend., Isaac Baker, August 13, 2022

Awesome value

2021 Rosé

92 points: Deep watermelon color. Juicy strawberry aromas, watermelon, lemon, topped in a complex mix of roses and daisies, honeysuckle, saline and mint – smells so delightful. The palate sports juicy texture with vibrant acidity, and the balance between the depth and freshness is great. Watermelon, red apple peel and ripe pear fruit mixes with rose petals and honeysuckle. Air and warmth bring out notes of sea salt, chalk, white pepper and oregano add complexity. The nuance and balance are delightful. Cabernet Franc with 33% Merlot. Awesome value.

Owen Bargreen,, July 14, 2022


2021 Rosé

90 points: Very brightly colored, the 2021 Smith-Madrone Rose offers a soft texture with ripe raspberry and candied cherry on the palate. Citrus rind and stony accents complete this beautiful new Rose that is best served on the warmer side. Drink 2022-2026.

James Melendez, James The Wine Man, July 16, 2022

Dazzling, beautiful

2021 Rosé

Video review

CMKWine, Cameron Kosson, July 19, 2022

Refreshing with heartiness

2021 Rosé

As summer is in full swing and temperatures are hitting nearly triple digits, I opened a Smith Madrone Rosé in the front yard. Winemakers and proprietors, Stu and Charlie, don’t make this wine very often. Produced from their estate vineyard on top of Spring Mountain, the wine is made up of 33% merlot and 67% Cabernet Franc. The brightness of this wine is intriguing. The color draws you in with a look of hot embers and a translucent nature. Coming from heartier grapes, this wine maintains a freshness and liveliness with nice acidity. Flavors of tart cherries, strawberries, rhubarb, crushed stone, and notes of white roses. Refreshing with a little heartiness. Very nice balance of minerality and acidity. This rosé is just over 14% alcohol and is one of those bottles you can invest in a few. You can enjoy it this summer but will evolve over the next 3-4 years nicely.

Tasting Panel Magazine, Meridith May, July 2022

Nuanced and exciting

2021 Rosé

93 points: A blend of 33% Merlot and 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, dry-farmed on the estate mountain and cold fermented in stainless steel. Aromas of fresh cranberries grab the palate and the puckering effect is long-lived. A salty layer of peanut brittle washed with raspberry is nuanced and exciting.

WineSipping, Oded Cohen, July 20, 2022

Nicely balanced, crisp and refreshing

2021 Rosé

Bright neon cherry in color. On the nose light raspberries, citrus, limes, green apples, light herbs and minerals. Medium plus in body with medium plus acidity. Dry on the palate with raspberries, sour cherries, limes, green apples, red grapefruit, spices and white pepper. Medium plus on the finish with limes and light almonds. This is a unique Cabernet Franc Rosé from Napa Valley. Feels fresh with some weight on the mouthfeel. Nicely balanced, crisp and refreshing. Tangy and easy drinking. Good by itself as a sipping wine, and will pair nicely with food too. A blend of 67% Cabernet Franc and 33% Merlot. A tiny production of less than 2,000 bottles.

WineReviewOnline, Rich Cook, August 2, 2022

A mind bender of a Rosé 

2021 Rosé

92 points: Here is a bouquet of roses in a glass.  Stu and Charlie Smith have only made a few Rosés in the 50 plus years they’ve been making wine on Spring Mountain, and I sense they thought that they had something with a unique expression on their hands here.  It smells of roses on the nose in a big way, so much so that the first taste is a bit like drinking a rose -- the flower, not Rosé.  As your palate sets to the wine, you get the cherry and herb that you expect from the Cabernet Franc in the mix, and the bright acid backbone keeps the flavors pushing forward.  This is a mind bender of a Rosé -- don’t let the dark color dissuade you, and don’t wait too long as it is a very small production wine.  Who knows how many years it will be until they release the next one!

BiggerThanYourHead, Fredric Koeppel, August 4, 2022

A crystalline, savory and delightful rosé.

2021 Rosé

Vivid cherry-garnet color; strawberry and raspberry, rose petal and lilac, peach and muskmelon; these enchanting elements highlighted by notes of sour cherry, briers, crisp acidity and a thread of limestone minerality that practically glitters on your palate. A crystalline, savory and delightful rosé. Excellent.

Vinography, Alder Yarrow, August 6, 2022

Fantastic acidity

2021 Rosé

Before we get out of rosé territory, it’s definitely worth noting the very rare pink bottling from Napa stalwart Smith-Madrone, which has only made a bottle of rosé twice before. This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc might surprise you with its bright juicy cherry goodness. A pale ruby in color with bluish highlights, this wine smells of cherries and plum skin. In the mouth, bright cherry and sour cherry flavors have a juicy tartness and a faint tannic grip, as fantastic acidity keeps the saliva flowing through a long finish. A blend of 33% Merlot and 67% Cabernet Franc that is co-fermented in stainless steel. 14.1% alcohol. 165 cases made. This is only the third time in its history that Smith-Madrone has made a rosé.

Rick Dean, StrongCoffeeToRedWine Instagram, July 9, 2021


2019 Rosé

I learned several things upon drinking this bottle 2019 Smith-Madrone Rosé.
But first, THANKS to my friends at WineTravelEats for gifting this bottle to us. Oh. My. God. Amazing. So what did I learn… 1) Whenever the next vintage is available, I am buying at least a case. If I have to camp out at the winery entrance to get it, I will do so. 2) I will hoard every last bottle and share only with my innermost sanctum and even they will have to earn it. Two glasses for me. One for you. 3) I will start a petition to encourage them to make more so it does not sell out so fast. As I need this year 'round.
50% Merlot 50% Cabernet Franc
There is a real intensity of color reading a deep (should I say dark...for a rosé - absolutely), ripe watermelon red/pink with a touch of coral. In my mind a Rosato style. We drank as a cocktail wine but this wine would be excellent with a burger or a salad or many other foods. Body is medium plus. The aromas, flavors, the slight but noticeable tannins, the mouthfeel, and the acidity are all so elegantly layered to create this incredible wine.
I do not care if you are a fan of the lightly-styled Provencal rosé, the rosé of Pinot Noir, or any other rosé you can think of. You MUST try this wine. And if you do not like it, you call me and I will buy whatever you have left. {At retail less 15%... I'm taking your leftovers after all). For those that know me, they know I bleed rosé. I think that says it all.

Decanter, Elin McCoy, February 2020

90 points... a serious rosé

2018 Rosé

90 points: The winery experimented for several years before releasing this first vintage of rosé. In the watermelon-hued 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the Cab Franc element really stands out. Aromatically, it shows off luscious floral aromas of roses and the intense, succulent red berry fruit flavours coat your tongue. This is a serious rosé that would go well with food. Drinking Window 2019 – 2022.