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Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon - $159.99

Wine Details

Vintage: 2005
Price: $159.99
Producer: Spottswoode Winery
Region: Napa Valley
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Container Size: 750 ML
  • Red Wine
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Product Description

  • The Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon is, very simply, the finest wine we are able to create from our estate vineyard on an annual basis. By carefully selecting only the best lots from our cellar, we honor our vineyard by producing a wine of great depth, complexity and elegance which reflects the pinnacle of our vineyard’s unique qualities, as well as the unique attributes of each vintage. For the 2005 vintage, we were rewarded for making early crop level adjustments in our vineyard, leaving just enough fruit for vine balance. Ripe, expressive, plummy fruit with hints of raspberry, ripe dark cherries, dried blueberries and licorice—all trademark flavors of the Spottswoode Vineyard—expands on the palate to toasty oak notes, dark and seductive, with sweet creamy caramel culminating into a beautiful, long finish. The tannin is supple, suave and charming, making the wine wonderful now while promising a long life ahead!
  • Our family has been growing winegrapes on our historic Spottswoode Estate since 1972, and making our own wines since 1982. As stewards of our land, we pursue an elegant, balanced and age-worthy style that captures the character of the vintage and the complexity of our legendary estate vineyard. In keeping with the authenticity and integrity we strive for in our wines—and in everything we do—the vineyard and gardens of our estate have been farmed organically since 1985. We invite you to experience the beauty and bounty of our family-owned Napa Valley winegrowing estate, savor our wines, and share in our rich history.

Expert Ratings

Ratings   Vintage Source Flavors
Tanzer - 91-94  Details: (includes 4% cab franc) Good full ruby. Expressive nose offers blackberry, boysenberry, violet, licorice, minerals and naphtha; displays a more typical Spottswoode character than the '04 or '03. Then dense, plush and chocolatey, with a seamless texture and subtle minerality. Very chewy, deep wine, finishing with substantial, broad tannins and a sizable structure. The crop level of 4.5 tons per acre was almost as high as in '97 here, but this wine required less acidification than recent vintages. 2005 Tanzer blackberry, boysenberry, chocolatey, licorice, minerals, violet
Tanzer - 91 Details: ($110; blended with 4% cabernet franc) Full ruby-red color. Very ripe aromas of cassis, minerals, bitter chocolate, graphite, cedar and menthol. Sweet, lush and fruity; quite fat for a Spottswoode cabernet. A bit youthfully disjointed today but then this has not yet recovered from the bottling. Suppler than the '03-and not at all rustic or over the top. (On my most recent retasting of the '03, I found a bit more alcohol than the wine displayed last spring and rated the wine 90 points.) 2004 Tanzer chocolate, chocolatey, dark berries, graphite, minerals, rosemary
Tanzer - 92(+?) Details: ($110; includes 4% cab franc) Ruby-red. Complex aromas of currant, plum, leather, tobacco, cedar and menthol, along with a faint dusty note. Then supple, rich and layered, with a very smooth texture. Not yet as sweet as the 2004 but plenty full in the mouth and more suave. Finishes with serious tongue-coating tannins that call for at least five or six years of cellaring. 2003 Tanzer creme de cassis, licorice
Tanzer - 92 Details: ($90; includes 3% cabernet franc; 70% new oak; 14.8% alcohol, the highest yet at this estate) Good medium ruby. Rich aromas of black raspberry, currant, roasted plum, dark chocolate, graphite, minerals and baking spices. Big, round and sweet. An atypically lush and chocolatey-rich wine for Spottswoode, with a bit less black fruit and floral character than usual but solid underlying minerality. Finishes broad and long, with horizontal tannins that seem a bit tougher than those of the young 2003. The estate sold off a lot of their wine in bulk in 2002, eliminating the lots that they considered overripe and less ageworthy. 2002 Tanzer black cherry, blueberry, chocolate, game, medicinal, mint
Tanzer - 90-93 Details: Bright medium ruby. Superripe aromas of cassis, violet and dark chocolate, with strong oakiness showing today. Sweet, supple and rich; atypically large-scaled for a young Spottswoode cabernet and a bit less floral than usual. Winemaker Rosemary Cakebread notes that she has not made the absolute final blend. Finishes with substantial but rather suave tannins. Will this wine offer Spottswoode's normal finesse? Cakebread noted that the berries were smaller in 2002, yielding more tannic wine. 90-93 points 2002 Tanzer berries, cassis, dark chocolate, rosemary, violet
WineSpectator - 90 Details: Bold, rich and concentrated, with a dense core of spicy currant, plum and blackberry with ripe, fleshy tannins that coat the mouth on the finish. Shows off hints of nutmeg and earth on the finish. Best from 2007 through 2012. 3,331 cases made. –JL 2002 WineSpectator blackberry, currant, earth, nutmeg, plum, spicy
WineSpectator - 90 Details: This fleshy wine exhibits rich currant, game, herb and cedary notes. Well-focused, plush and complex, the flavors are elegant and graceful through the finish. Nonetheless, it leaves you hoping for a shade more depth and concentration. Best from 2005 through 2012. 4,932 cases made. –JL 2001 WineSpectator currant, game, herb
Tanzer - 93 Details: ($90) Deep ruby-red. Vibrant, high-pitched aromas of boysenberry, cassis, violet and sweet, chocolatey oak. Brighter and more sharply delineated than the 2002, with less obvious baby fat; offers a captivating combination of berry, spice and floral flavors. Very stylish, firmly tannic wine with the intensity and structure for 15 years or more of development in bottle. 2001 Tanzer boysenberry, chocolate, chocolatey, coffee, dark chocolate, mineral
Tanzer - 93 Details: ($90) Deep ruby-red. Vibrant, high-pitched aromas of boysenberry, cassis, violet and sweet, chocolatey oak. Brighter and more sharply delineated than the 2002, with less obvious baby fat; offers a captivating combination of berry, spice and floral flavors. Very stylish, firmly tannic wine with the intensity and structure for 15 years or more of development in bottle. 93 points 2001 Tanzer berry, boysenberry, cassis, chocolatey, oak, spice, violet
CGCW - 91 Details: While is never as big or as blustery as the majority of high-ticket Cabernets have typically become, this well-defined wine gets it right as far as well-focused fruit is concerned and is never held hostage to ripeness. Medium-full-bodied and wonderfully supple in feel, the wine evokes a real sense of crafting from beginning to end, and its lasting finish is underpinned by finely fit tannins that will hold it together as its complexities grow over the next five or six years. 2001 CGCW
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Food Pairings

Category Pairing
Cheese Blue Cheese, Provolone, Brie
Red Meat Roast Beef, Barbeque Pulled-Pork or Ribs, Veal Carpaccio, Game, Sausage, Variety Meats or Organ Meats, Kidney
Poultry & Eggs Game Birds
Vegetables Potatoes, Roasted Mixed Vegetables
Fish or Shellfish Sea Bass
Sauces Red Wine Sauce
Herbs & Spices Basil, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme

Wine Terms

Name Value
Cabernet Sauvignon (cab er nay saw vee nyon)—This highly adaptable grape grows almost anywhere it is relatively warm, but the best wines come from the Burgundy region of France (where it is a noble variety), California, and Australia. It became famous through the red wines of the Médoc district of Bordeaux and is now grown in Washington, southern France, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes make wines that are high in tannin and medium- to full-bodied. Usually identified as having black currant or cassis flavors, the grape can also possess vegetal tones when the grapes are less than ideally ripe. The best wines are rich and firm with great depth, and are often aged for fifteen years or more. Because it is highly tannic, Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with other less-tannic grapes such as Merlot.
Napa This tiny strip of land just north of San Francisco is home to America’s most prestigious wineries. Its climate is ideal for viticulture. Ironically, it was deemed too ideal for some vintners, who have moved their vineyards from the valley’s flat plain to the hills in the east and west, adhering to the idea that grapes that struggle to grow yield better wine. The climate, soil, and individual wineries are enormously varied, so it’s impossible to identify a singular trait of Napa wines. In addition, nearly every noble grape is grown here, although Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the primary grapes. In the past, Napa’s wines have alternated between extremely fruity and fat to lean and subtle. Today the best Napa wines have achieved a balance between these extremes. Many are made to be drunk young and have abundant ripe fruit; others can be initially hard and tannic, but soften over four or five years to perfumed, cedary fruit. White Napa wines are excellent with fresh-grilled fish and chicken, but can also cope with more spicy and creamy flavors. Many Napa reds will overwhelm delicate cuisine, but rich red meat and cheeses do make good companions.
United States Wineries exist in all fifty states, but the most predominant (and best) wine comes from Northern California, Oregon, and Washington State, with New York gaining a foothold in the industry. American wines make up about 75% of all wine sales in the US. The appellation system uses the term AVA (American Viticultural Area) to determine where wines were produced, but grape varieties can be planted anywhere in the country. American wineries generally use varietal labeling, and government regulations require that the variety on the label must make up at least 75% of the blend (in Oregon it’s 90%). The words reserve, special selection, private reserve, classic, and so on have no legal definition in the US. Some wineries use these terms to indicate their better wines; others use the words as a marketing tool to move lower quality wines off the shelf.
California California produces the majority of wine made in the United States. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir dominate the wine production in California, but many other varietials thrive in the California climate. Many fine wines are produced in California using Mediterranean grapes.
Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Over the past few decades, the Napa Valley has become synonymous with award winning Cabernet Sauvignon. Originating from the Bordeaux region in France, Cabernet Sauvignon is truly wine's ambassador to the world. Now in the annals of wine history, this varietal put the Napa Valley on the map. There is a select set of conditions, often enjoyed in Napa, which makes for world class examples of the grape. These include long, sunny days in warm climates, in conjunction with porous, well draining soils.
Napa County Napa County is located north of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. At the north end of Napa County is the Bay Area's second tallest peak Mount Saint Helena, and to the far south of Napa County lays the section of the Napa Valley that bleeds into Carneros. When the first white settlers arrived in the early 1830s, there were six tribes in the valley speaking different dialects and they were often at war with each other. The Mayacomos tribe lived in the area where Calistoga was founded. Napa County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Napa Valley is widely considered one of the top wine regions in California and all of the United States. By the end of the nineteenth century there were more than one hundred and forty wineries in the area. Today Napa Valley features more than two hundred wineries and grows many different grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Zinfandel. The region is visited by as many as five million people each year, making it the second to Disneyland as the most popular tourist destination in California.

Tasting Notes

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