Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2020 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Advocate, Joe Czerwinski

Tasted blind, in a lineup that included vintages back to 2010, a barrel sample of Spottswoode’s 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon stood out as being one of the most exciting efforts. Full-bodied, ripe and rich without being overbearing, it delivers concentrated black cherry and cassis fruit framed by supple, velvety-textured tannins. It’s long on the finish, with an attractively soft, dusty-loamy texture and no overt signs of a fire-troubled Napa vintage. 98–100 points (September 15, 2022)

Decanter, Jonathan Cristaldi

Cristaldi’s 40: Top 2020 Napa Cabernets to buy
Fragrant blackberry and black cherry, cassis and rich tobacco spices with lovely fresh earth notes and sweet kiss of new cedar wood. Incredibly concentrated dark berry fruit, fabulously angular tannins smooth with crisp edges. Purple florals, dried sagebrush and chocolate shavings with lots of graphite and deep iron-like mineral character. And a finish of dark saturated fruit that goes and goes; purple floral notes, too, polished and bright with vivacious acidity and freshness evident from the first sip to the finish. Potential 100-point wine. 99 points (September 2023)

The Wine Independent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown

The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon, tasted as a barrel sample, has 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot in the blend. Deep garnet-purple in color, it springs with notes of cedar chest, cinnamon toast, and black cherry preserves, leading to a core of blackcurrant pastilles, potpourri, and mocha. Medium-bodied, and big on flavors, the palate delivers mouth-coating black fruits with a rock-solid structure of firm tannins and lively acidity, finishing long. 96–98+ points (September 28, 2022), Jeb Dunnuck

Tasted out of bottle, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate showed beautifully, and it’s certainly in the top handful of wines in the vintage. Offering beautiful red, blue, and black fruits as well as notes of tobacco, violets, and chalky minerality, it has medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, high-quality tannins, and outstanding length. It doesn’t show any signs of smoke taint and is a beautiful, incredibly impressive effort in the vintage that I suspect will evolve gracefully for two decades. 96 points (February 16, 2023), Jancis Robinson

Picked at just 23 Brix in late August when there was smoke but before any major Glass Fire impact. Made as usual. They sent as many as 300 samples to labs in Australia and British Columbia. To be released September 2023. Deep crimson. A little spicy on the nose but overall “cool” (!) and restrained with a notably dry finish. Drink 2023–2030. 17/20 points (April 23, 2023)

Ken’s Wine Guide, Ken Hoggins

This midnight purple colored Cabernet Sauvignon from Spottswoode opens with a black currant and black cherry bouquet with hints of violet, eucalyptus, and cigar box. On the palate, this wine is medium plus bodied with integrated medium acidity. The mouthfeel is well-balanced, finessed, velvety, and seamless. The flavor profile is black currant and blackberry blend with notes of stony minerality and black cherry. We also detected hints of black tea, oak, and black raspberry. The finish is dry, and its refined dusty mild tannins are sustained nicely before they drift off. 97 points (February 9, 2023)