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Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 1987 vintage of this wine was ranked #9 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1990

The 2008 has an absolutely beautiful, full nose of black fruits (boysenberry and blackberry) with notes of camphor, clove, and cedar. Wonderful ripe tannins, with hints of graphite and warm fireplace ash. Great length. Beautifully knitted, this complex, multi-layered wine showcases the Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon at its best.

Blend: 92.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.6% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A small crop of 1,953 cases and a final blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc emerged from the 2008 vintage, that was known for the damaging fires north of Napa and Sonoma that caused smoke damage to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in Anderson Valley and sites on the Sonoma Coast. The wine from Spottswoode is pure and rich with deep ruby/purple color, a touch of blackcurrants and floral notes, a medium to full body, slightly chunkier and less profound than the 2007, but still another top-notch effort from this first-growth terroir. It should continue to drink well for another 15-20 years.
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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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St. Helena

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St. Helena is in the heart of the Napa Valley, nestled between Calistoga to the north and Rutherford on its southern border. On its western side, the Mayacamas Mountains guard it from the cooling effects of the Pacific Ocean; to its east stand the Vaca Mountains. In conjunction, these mountain ranges serve to lock in summer daytime heat. But in the evening, cool air from the San Pablo Bay funnels up through the valley, creating very chilly nights. It isn’t uncommon for temperatures to drop 50 degrees, a shift that promotes a balance of sugar ripeness and acidity in wine grapes.

St. Helena contains a plethora of different soil types in a small area, which have been enhanced over centuries by rain runoff from both mountain ranges. Its vineyards cover a variety of terrain, spreading across the bucolic valley floor and its benchlands.

These ideal topographic and climatic growing conditions easily caught the attention of early winemaking pioneers. In fact, St. Helena is the birthplace of Napa Valley’s commercial wine industry. Dr. Crane founded his cellar in 1859, David Fulton in 1860 and Charles Krug in 1861.

Today there are no less than 400 separate vineyards planted within the 12,000 acres that make up the St. Helena appellation.

Revered most for its red wines based on Bordeaux varieties, namely Cabernet Sauvignon, the St. Helena appellation is also a source of superior Syrah, Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc.

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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.

DOB111966_2008 Item# 111966