Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Robert Parker Wine Advocate, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is still very tight and youthful, slowly unfurling to reveal a multifaceted wine with tons of black, blue and red fruit sparks – plums, cherries, black currants and red currants – with dark chocolate, cedar chest, black tea and red roses in the background plus wafts of pencil lead and prosciutto. Medium-bodied and firmly textured by superbly ripe, grainy tannins, it has a fantastic core of intense, complex layers, finishing on an edifying mineral note. Wow! 100 points (October 29, 2018)

Wine Spectator, James Molesworth

Beautifully rendered, with a focused beam of gently mulled red and black currant fruit that glides through atop a subtle but persistent loamy structure. Light tea and alder notes fill in throughout, ending with a wave of fruit that is alluringly lined with latent mineral tension. 96 points (October 31, 2019), Wilfred Wong

The 2016 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon is my wine of the decade. Though we still have a few more weeks before the end of these ten years, I can’t imagine any wine taking me like this one just did. This wine is 100% complete. Its aromas and flavors of relentless and penetrating black fruits, violets, other berries, and earth stay long on the palate and into the finish. One can drink this wine at any time, but I recommend 10+ years before sticking the wine key into the cork. Keep this enchanting genie in the bottle for as long as you can. 100 points (December 11, 2019), Jeb Dunnuck

Also perfect, yet in a very different style, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate can be thought of as mix of the 2010 and 2015. Classic Cabernet notes of green tobacco, pure cassis, sappy flowers, crushed stone, and cedar all emerge from the glass, and it’s full-bodied, with a layered, multi-dimensional texture, building tannins, and one blockbuster of a finish. This continues to show incredibly consistency and I’ve been lucky enough to have multiple bottles, all of which have topped out my scale. This is unquestionably a legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that will hit maturity in about a decade or so and keep for 40-50 years. 100 points (August 23, 2021)

The SOMM Journal, Meridith May

Released in early September, it’s the winery’s 35th estate Cab; as Weinkauf explained, ‘Spottswoode is more than a name – it is a place. And some Cabernets are dynamic and strong, while I see some, like ours, that are as attuned as a Zen yoga master.’ From its perfume of dark plum, deep espresso, and chocolate, the young and exuberant palate starts with a lushness and then energizes with a zing of peppered blackberries, slate, and soil. It’s texturally luxurious but tense, thanks to its acidity and inherent minerality, with a saturation and intensity that’s destined to evolve. Sweet herbs and a noticeable freshness set its tone. 98 points (October 2019)

Vinous, Antonio Galloni

Spottswoode’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely gorgeous. Medium in body, translucent and super-expressive, the 2016 is sublime, not to mention on the understated side of things for the year. Dark red cherry, red plum, mocha and espresso add lovely shades of nuance. The 2016 is racy, but also clearly holding back much of its ultimate potential. I imagine the 2016 will always be a wine of finesse, first and foremost. 96+ points (January 10, 2020)

Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide, Virginie Boone

Blended with small percents of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this vintage marks the winery’s 35th year of making this wine, the grapes all estate-grown and organically farmed. Rich and grippy, it expands to reveal expressive notes of dried herb, leather and salty stone, at first demure in black fruit, with an elegant structure and undoubtable time to age. Enjoy best from 2026–2031. 96 points (May 2020), James Suckling

This blend of 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, nine percent Cabernet Franc and six percent Petit Verdot has strikingly pure blackcurrant aromas and flavors. The palate has flavorful and fleshy, ripe mixed berries, cast in plush, seamlessly even tannins. Drink or hold. 95 points. (November 2018), Peg Melnik

A well-built, complex cab that has notes of blueberry, blackberry, pine and a hint of cedar. Well integrated. Stunning. 4.5 stars (December 10, 2019)

Check, Please! Bay Area KQED, Leslie Sbrocco

Spottswoode ranks among the top wine producers in the world. For four decades they have consistently crafted cellar-worthy, but still enjoyable-upon-release Cabernets that define the best of Napa Valley. Their 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. Uncorking it now allows for immediate indulgence in this silky red with seamless balance. But, aging for a few years will help the wine open up gracefully exposing even more complexity and elegance. The Novak women – Mary and Beth and Lindy – have been an inspiration to so many in the wine business. Not only did founder Mary Novak pass on her love of Spottswoode to her daughters, Beth and Lindy, who are now in charge, but with quiet strength she helped shape the historic property into the lauded star it is today. (June 19, 2020)

Wine Spectator, Kim Marcus 

Top 50 Napa Producers
Here, we’ve selected 50 standouts, along with recent releases that represent their ongoing track records for excellence. Particularly among the Cabernet producers, many wineries make multiple cuvees, from valley wide blends to single-vineyard expressions, so while this list is a starting point, greater exploration will bear additional reward. 2016 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. 96 points (June 30, 2020)

Grape Collective, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher 

A Napa Cabernet Taste-Off In Lockdown: Do Good While Holed Up
The Spottswoode sneaked up on us. It smelled and tasted more of blueberries than blackberries that we expect with noble Napa Cabernets. It was restrained. At first, we didn’t know what to make of it. Then with each passing minute it opened, displaying a precision and elegance that you have to go to, because it will not come to you. We found it utterly fetching and felt that, unlike many Napa Cabernets, it would be willing to be part of the symphony of a great dinner and not a soloist. It’s 85 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 9 percent Cabernet Franc and 6 percent Petit Verdot. We would have guessed we would have noticed such a relatively high percentage of Verdot, but we didn’t. Seamless. (March 27, 2020)

California Grapevine, Nick Ponomareff 

Dark ruby color; very attractive, deep, rich, intense, spicy, complex, blackberry and black cherry aroma with hints of cedar, clove, dried herbs, cassis, and baking spices; full body; rich, ripe, nicely balanced, elegant, dark berry fruit flavors with well integrated oak; full tannin; lingering aftertaste. A bit tight at present, though shows its outstanding potential, and deserving at least another five more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended. 95 points (February 2020)

Washington Wine Blog, Owen Bargreen

Top 100 of 2019
The 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunning blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, with 6% Petit Verdot. Needing a one hour decant to fully awaken, the 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon slowly unveils deep Turkish coffee, creme de cassis, cocoa powder and sweet pipe tobacco aromas with lighter suggestions of blueberry pie and graphite that all meld in the glass. The palate is dense and powerful yet shows a wonderful restraint and vibrant sense of tension that runs through the core of the wine. Moderate tannins frame the dense dark currant jelly, mocha, black tea, anise, exotic spice and herbal undertones round out this expressive palate. Fantastic and literally thrilling in its youth, the 2016 ‘Estate’ Cabernet Sauvignon will provide drinking enjoyment for the next two plus decades. 96 points (December 11, 2019)