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Flat front label of wine

Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon (stained labels) 2011

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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13.9% ABV
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2011 Cabernet is captivating - beautifully capturing the essence of the Spottswoode Estate vineyard in this cooler-than-normal vintage. The winemaker's descriptors include, "ripe black cherry, blackberry, nutmeg, dark chocolate, juicy ripeness with a hint of dried sage, graphite, concentrated black tea, ripe cranberry, and bay leaf." The fruit characters are dynamic and vivacious, sharing layers of minerality, floralness, spices and herbs.

Where some vintages get their strength from pure muscle and brawn, the 2011 draws its strength from its core and its finesse - much the same way a yogi exhibits strength and balance versus a weightlifter's brute heft.

Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
A solid Spottswoode with mint, currants, berries and flowers. Sweet tobacco and rose petals. Full body with silky tannins and a long, long finish. Tangy, energetic and lively. A wine with form, tension and beauty. This is classic California. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
New winemaker Aron Weinkauf started in a vintage that has been excessively maligned, despite evidence of very strong efforts produced in the 2011 vintage, including the 2011 Spottswoode, which is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Nearly 3,300 cases were produced. As the complete younger vines began producing at full-throttle, the wine offers up loads of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, is a trifle more compact than the 2010 or for that matter the 2012, 2013 or 2014. It shows admirable purity, plenty of floral blackcurrants that this property is known for and beautiful texture in a medium to full-bodied style. Rain at harvest seems to have had no impact on the quality of this wine. It probably won’t be as long-lived as some of the exceptional years, but it is certainly set for another 20 years of deliciousness.
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Spottswoode

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery

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Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, Napa Valley, 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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious 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's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California 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 revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

RSN134590_2011 Item# 134590