Ross' choice this month is a smooth chardonnay from Smith-Madrone
For this month's spotlight on wine, Good Wine highlights the Smith-Madrone Chardonnay, giving it pride of place as a Ross' choice.
Enjoy this smooth wine with spring delicacies, including Vidalia onions, cheese-based dishes and other buttery dishes. It goes well with meat kebabs, too.
• Mary Ross is an Advanced Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers), a Certified Wine Educator (Society of Wine Educators) and recipient of Wine Spectator's "Grand Award of Excellence." Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wine name: Chardonnay
Region: Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
Availability: At major wine chains and boutiques, about $45
Distributed by: Compass Wines & Spirits, Skokie
Tasting notes: Every winemaker wants to produce a wine like this: Pure, juicy fruit outlined by refreshing acidity (in this case, like biting into a perfectly ripe apple, just plucked from the tree), luxurious texture (from judicious oak management and rich but undetectable 14.5% alcohol) and long, layered finish. But every winemaker doesn't have Spring Mountain vineyards, 1,900 feet above the valley floor, with steep, 34-degree slopes of well-drained volcanic soils, warmed by golden California sunshine and cooled by Pacific fog. And every winemaker won't chance daredevil, artisan techniques such as dry farming (i.e. no irrigation) and no wine filtration. The Smith brothers founded their winery in 1971 (adding "Madrone" to honor the mountains's prevalent evergreen), making them the new kids in Napa Valley's mid-20th century boom. They've since have earned international accolades for wines, winery practices and old-fashioned inspiration. For food, I'm going to try it with a quiche of bacon, cheddar and Vidalia onions (when available in the spring), but for now, the wine's rich, balanced flavors pair with a wide range of dishes, from cow's milk cheese and buttery preparations through to meat kebabs, making this a Chardonnay that every wine-lover wants to enjoy.