Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Jeb Dunnuck

While all these wines have a certain Bordeaux-like character, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is unquestionably a dead-ringer for a great vintage of Château Margaux and has an incredibly complex, full- bodied, layered style carrying ample darker currant fruits, lots of chocolate, spice, smoked earth, and incense notes, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It opens up nicely with time in the glass and is fully mature yet should continue evolving for another 15-20 years. 98 points (August 23, 2021)

The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker

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. 94 points (#226, August 31, 2016), James Suckling

The 2008 is very close in quality to the fabulous 2007. It has the richness of that vintage as well as the structure and firmness of the 2006. 97 points. (October 2010)

Vinography, Alder Yarrow

Inky garnet in the glass, this wine has a nose of bright juicy fruit with hints of cola, cherry cocoa aromas. In the mouth the wine is gorgeously supple and smooth with silky tannins. A core of cherry and tobacco and wet earth flavor has a surprising brightness with fantastic acidity and a long cocoa powder finish. 7.6% Cabernet Franc. Stunning. 14.5% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. (February 2012) Read the complete article.

Wine Spectator, James Laube

Firm, dense and chewy, deep and concentrated, with complex currant, dried berry, blueberry, mineral, sage, cedar and tobacco flavors. Best from 2013 to 2022. 93 points (November 15, 2011)

Vinous, Stephen Tanzer

Vintage Retrospective: The 2008 Napa Valley Cabernets
The crazy weather year of 2008 on California’s North Coast somehow managed to produce many highly concentrated, stylish, complex and balanced wines that are just now entering their periods of peak pleasure. Bright medium ruby. Some distinctly roasted notes to the aromas of cassis, black cherry, blackberry and dark chocolate, but aeration brought more vibrant violet and menthol nuances. Moderately sweet, plush and fine-grained; seriously extract-rich wine with concentrated, ripe flavors of dark berries, spices and violet. Finishes chewy and very long, with building but nicely buffered granular tannins. Much livelier in the mouth than on the nose, with little sign of overripeness. A second bottle showed a slightly darker color and a fresher nose, plus very concentrated, well-delineated flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, licorice, dark chocolate and minerals. This very suave sample finished with a restrained sweetness, smooth tannins and resounding savory length, spreading out horizontally to coat the teeth and palate. The 2008 Spottswoode is showing more depth and less pepperiness today – not to mention greater depth – than the bottle that was part of my extensive vertical tasting at Spottswoode in 2016. It has a terrific future. 93 points (May 9, 2018)