Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
|Region||California, Napa Valley, St Helena|
Made of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple in color and prances out of the glass with vivacious blackberries, crushed black cherries, warm black currants and red currant jelly scents plus exotic hints of cassia, cardamom, fenugreek and star anise with a waft of underbrush. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic energy and beautiful poise, with bags of bright, crunchy black and red fruit plus a firm, fine-grained texture, finishing long and spicy.
Looking at the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which was bottled two months prior to my tasting, it too has a Château Margaux-like complexity and elegance, with beautiful notes of crème de cassis, sandalwood, dried flowers, tobacco leaf, and lead pencil. Harvested all pre-fire, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and remarkable purity, all making for a quintessential Spottswoode that's going to benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age and keep for 20+ years.
Spottswoode's 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon has been simply tremendous on both occasions I have tasted it so far. Sweet red cherry, red plum, flowers and mint give the 2017 striking freshness to complement its decidedly mid-weight structure. The intense heat of the vintage caused ripening to slow down and yielded a wine with just 13.7% alcohol, which is low for both the estate and Napa Valley in general. Spottswoode was one of the first estates in the valley to adopt a more moderate approach to farming and that really paid off in 2017, as a wine of this level in that year could have only resulted from impeccable farming. In a word: magnificent!