The Wine Advocate
December, 2007, Issue 174
One of Napa Valley’s reference point wines remains Spottswoode’s Cabernet Sauvignon. However, readers should not overlook their brilliant Sauvignon Blanc. The 2006 continues a nearly unbroken record of great success with this varietal. Sumptuous aromas of honeyed grapefruit, flowers, and melon jump from the glass of this lovely white. A fruit-driven effort buttressed by good acidity and an undeniable minerality, it will offer abundant pleasure over the next 1-2 years.
With the introduction of a second Cabernet Sauvignon, called Lyndenhurst (1,000+ cases), Spottswoode now has the ability to ratchet up the quality level of their world class Cabernet Sauvignon Estate. The deep ruby/purple-colored, fruity 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst, a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest other Bordeaux varietals, offers up sweet aromas of chocolate, black currants, wood, and licorice. This pure, luscious Cabernet is ideal for drinking over the next 10–12 years. The 2005 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits more restraint and delineation. It seems like a cooler climate wine compared to the more opulent 2004. It comes down to a matter of personal preference, but I liked the showiness and sensuality of the 2004, whereas structuralists and acid lovers will probably prefer the 2005. I would not be surprised to see the 2005 last longer, and actually move ahead of the 2004 in terms of quality in 4–5 years.
The 1,850-case cuvee of 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (97.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc) boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as a beautiful nose of lead pencil shavings, violets, blueberries, and black currants. It builds incrementally on the palate with superb purity, medium to full body, sweet tannin, and a long, 40+ second finish. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for two decades. The prodigious 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate may be Spottswoode’s strongest effort since their superb 2002 and 2001. A deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by a classic bouquet of violets, graphite, blueberries, and creme de cassis with hints of licorice and cedar. Stunningly pure and elegant as well as substantial and authoritatively flavored, this is a long, rich, concentrated wine with the grace of a ballerina. Give it 2–3 years of bottle age and consume it over the following 20-25+ years. Previously recommended: 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (94), 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (97). Tel. (707) 963-0134; Fax (707) 963-2886