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Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP100
  • WE92
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Black fruit enhanced by earthier, more savory components: black and green tea, tar, mint, dusty rosemary, hay, dried brush, a dash of tomato, some slightly stewed aromas. This was a ripe vintage, and the wine is fairly fleshy, with nice tannins, great texture, and a juicy acidity. A "deliciously abundant palate, like a river of ripe blackberries."

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In 2002 very small yields produced only about 3,000 cases at 14.7% natural alcohol and a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc. This wine is going from strength to strength since I first tasted it prior to bottling. Now a perfect wine, the incredible perfume of blueberries, black raspberries and cassis, along with white flowers and camphor is extraordinarily fragrant and intense. That is easily matched by the magnificent full-bodied richness and compellingly layered mouthfeel of this wine that is rich, full-bodied and a still youthful vintage that remains capable of another 25-30 years of cellaring. This is a dramatic vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and it is always fascinating to taste a top winery’s 2001 and 2002 next to each other because they are both such great years. However, the 2002s tend to be the more flamboyant wines, and the 2001s the more structured and broodingly backward.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The estate is in St. Helena. The wine is dry, tannic and too young, an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins mask the underlying core of black cherry, black currant and cocoa fruit. This is a lovely, fine Cabernet, rich and supple.
Cellar Selection
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Spottswoode

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery

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Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, California
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Spottswoode is a small, family-owned estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The estate, which dates to the 1800s, includes classic formal gardens, pre-prohibition winery buildings and the 40-acre, organically farmed estate vineyard. Spottswoode focuses all of its attention on producing extremely limited quantities of two wines: Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

MMR119621_2002 Item# 119621