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Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
  • RP99
  • JS98
  • W&S90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Juicy primary fruit flavors predominate this inviting wine. Penetrating blackberry and blueberry essence with some creamy yogurt, cassis liqueur, plum, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Malted chocolate and a hint of black pepper on the nose. There is a density along with focus and a pristine delineation. Great structure and concentration, with ripe, refined tannins and good acidity. This remarkable wine has immense potential.!

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
With the lowest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in of any of the wines from this vertical, the 2012 final blend was 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Production across the board in 2012 was high, and reflected in the 3,977 cases made at Spottswoode. This is a dramatic, flamboyant, modern-day version of the 2002. Dramatic blueberry, black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, along with camphor, charcoal, white flowers and foresty notes all emerge from the impressive aromatics that soar from the glass. The intense, explosively rich, full-bodied palate is layered with beautiful purity, stunningly sweet, silky tannins and terrific presence and complexity. This is a gorgeous wine on a relatively fast evolutionary track, I suspect, but certainly it has 30 years of upside left.
JS 98
James Suckling
Incredible blueberries, blackberries, black walnuts, minerals, black licorice and flowers. Full-bodied, very tight and structured with hints of hazlenuts, fine chocolate and hints of minerals and spices. A solid and classic-styled Napa Valley cab. Layered and very fine.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
The Novak family has farmed their 40-acre vineyard under organics since 1985 (certified in 1992). Aron Weinkauf, who joined the team as assistant winemaker in 2006, took on vineyard management three years later and has since implemented biodynamic practices. He blends this cabernet sauvignon with 10 percent franc and five percent petit verdot, producing a smooth, bright, sunny up-valley red that holds some of the coolness of the clay soils in which it grows. Earthy and youthfully green, this should age well.
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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.

BMC146564_2012 Item# 146564