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Posts tagged ‘Spottswoode’

2013 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst – Bottle Notes

Spottswoode is a family owned winegrowing estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The 46 acre estate, established in 1882, is distinguished by the historic Victorian home depicted on the label. Its entrance is graced by classic formal gardens, while the vineyard stretches behind to the Mayacamas Mountains.

The Spottswoode Estate was bought by Jack and Mary Novak in 1972. The first Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1982. Spottswoode also makes an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.

Lyndenhurst is primarily sourced from the Spottswoode Estate Vineyard although a few other vineyards figure in the mix as well in 2013.

Purple in color. 13.9% ABV. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Sublime nose of black fruits, violets and licorice. Complex, fresh and silky. Medium body with impeccable balance. Black cherries, currants and a touch of cassis on the palate. The finish is fantastic with grainy tannins. Drink over the next 6-8 years.

My rating: 94 points.

The 2013 vintage was released recently and is readily available. At $80 it is fairly priced given the pedigree.

I blogged about Spottswoode previously in Overlooked Wines from Great Producers.

Lastly, it was somewhat humbling to find out that Beth Novak, the President and CEO of Spottswoode, wanted to send me a sample to review. Thank you Beth!

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2013 “Birth Year” Case Wine Recommendations

This is my 5th annual “Birth Year” case blog post. This post can serve as a guide for readers who had children born in the year of 2013 and want to set aside some wine for them to enjoy when they reach the age to appreciate said wines. My 2009 list , 2010 list2011 list and 2012 list were published around this time in the preceding years.

2013 was hit and miss around the globe. Napa Valley was the clear standout and I have stacked the list accordingly.

Per previous year lists I attempted to find bottles from a diverse number of regions that have the capacity to age under appropriate cellar conditions for upwards of 20 years. I have kept the bottle price ceiling at $150. This is no small task given escalating prices in regions like Napa Valley and the Northern Rhone. These wines should all be available at retail right now. None of these wines should be very hard to find. Happy hunting!

  1. 2013 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon – Region: Napa Valley, Score: 94 points from Antonio Galloni, Price: $90.
  2. 2013 Calon Segur – Region: Bordeaux, Score: 94 points from James Suckling, Price: $65.
  3. 2013 Doisy-Daene – Region: Sauternes, Score: 95 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $50
  4. 2013 Auguste Clape Cornas – Region: Rhone, Score: 97 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $120.
  5. 2013 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon – Region: Napa Valley, Score: 96 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $135.
  6. 2013 Turley Petite Sirah Library Vineyard – Region: Napa Valley, Score: 94 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $50.
  7. 2013 Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus – Region: Spain, Score: 94 points from James Suckling, Price: $80.
  8. 2013 Clos des Papes – Region: Rhone, Score: 94 points from the Wine Spectator, Price: $80.
  9. 2013 Troplong Mondot – Region Bordeaux, Score: 94 points from the Wine Advocate: Price: $90.
  10. 2013 Antinori Tignanello – Region: Tuscany, Score: 97 points from James Suckling: Price: $85.
  11. 2013 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese Nahe – Region: Germany, Score: 94 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $65
  12. 2013 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red – Region: Napa Valley, Score: 95 points from the Wine Adovocate, Price: $150.

If you have followed this series over the years then you may have noticed that wines like Spottswoode, Clape, Tignanello and Donhoff have made multiple appearances. Simply put these are fairly priced, world class wines that should age effortlessly for up to 20 years. The real beauty of this list is you should be able to source the wines without needing to belong to a mailing list. Look at reputable wine stores like Wine Exchange, JJ Buckley and K&L Wines.

Other wines to consider that will be more readily available later this year include Cabernets from Dunn and Chateau Montelena.

I’d love to hear about what wine you are setting aside for your children that were born in 2013.

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Why I Renewed My Wine Spectator Subscription

I just received my first issue of the Wine Spectator in almost 8 years. I had let my subscription lapse when I last moved and was told it would take upwards of 60 days to move my subscription to a new address. This was 2007, the age of the internet, how could it possibly take so long to change my address in their database? Whatever, I did not need the Wine Spectator. I had been collecting wine for over 15 years. I knew what I liked. On top of that there were great online sites like erobertparker.com that had fresh content every day from wine collectors the world over.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2015. Many of the wines I bought 8 years ago have become so expensive that my purchases have decreased significantly or the wines are just no longer of interest. I still buy Leoville Barton and Spottswoode but certainly not in half case increments. I simply stopped buying wines like Araujo and Cos d’Estournel. I hope the Wine Spectator will enhance my own efforts to broaden my horizons on what is new and exciting in my favorite wine regions. For instance, Tim Fish who covers California Zinfandel for the Wine Spectator, was all over wineries like Bedrock and more recently Limerick Lane long before the wines were hard to get. I can’t wait to hear about his next discovery.

Secondly, the online wine board scene is old and stale. Robert Parker has put up a pay wall and new posts now only trickle in. Wineberserkers is still somewhat compelling but the tone is derisive. Posts about new wines get lost in adoration threads for board favorites like Sine Qua Non, Saxum and Rhys and bashing threads on far ranging topics including John Kapon, Maison Ilan and Premier Cru.

All roads in my wine journey do not lead to Burgundy. I want to hear about wineries like Ferren that was recently profiled by the Wine Spectator. I want to see a series of high scores for Arista in the recent Wine Spectator Pinot Noir 2013 vintage report.

So job well done to the team at the Wine Spectator. You hooked me 20 years ago and then managed to get me back when I thought I know longer needed you.

By the way, in the event anyone from the Wine Spectator reads this, it took almost 60 days from the time I sent in my subscription form to delivery of my first issue. I do hope your systems have improved.

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1999 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

Spottswoode is a family owned winegrowing estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The 46 acre estate, established in 1882, is distinguished by the historic Victorian home depicted on the label. Its entrance is graced by classic formal gardens, while the vineyard stretches behind to the Mayacamas Mountains.

The Spottswoode Estate was bought by Jack and Mary Novak in 1972. The first Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1982. Spottswoode also makes an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.

Decanted for 30 minutes. Surprisingly dark in color. 13.5% ABV. Bordeaux like nose of graphite, leather and currants. Rich and powerful on the palate with super silky tannins. Flavors of plums, cassis, cherries and pencil. The finish is exceptional. The wine is in a great spot right now and I would be inclined to drink over the next year or so. Everything I look for in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Bravo!

My rating: 94 points.

The 2012 vintage will be released in the next few months. I will order a few bottles, but at $145 per, the wine is no longer the value it was 5-7 years ago. The 2011 is available at the winery via the mailing list and at retail.

I blogged about Spottswoode previously in Overlooked Wines from Great Producers.

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2009 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc – Bottle Notes

Spottswoode is a family owned winegrowing estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The 46 acre estate, established in 1882, is distinguished by the historic Victorian home depicted on the label. Its entrance is graced by classic formal gardens, while the vineyard stretches behind to the Mayacamas Mountains.

The Spottswoode Estate was bought by Jack and Mary Novak in 1972. The first Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1982. Spottswoode also makes an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.

Light straw colored. 14.1% ABV. 52% Napa County and 48% Sonoma County. Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque. Zingy nose of lime zest, citrus fruits and melon. Bright acidity with a racy texture. The palate is all about grapefruit, vanilla, green apples and lemon oil. Lots to like here. Ready to drink.

My rating: 91 points.

The 2013 vintage was released early this year and is just under $40. Available at the winery via the mailing list and quite often at retail.

I blogged about Spottswoode previously in Overlooked Wines from Great Producers.

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2001 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

The 2001 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon was the winning bottle in the June installment of Pick My Next Bottle. I decanted the wine for an hour and paired it with pan fried sirloin steaks.

Spottswoode is a family owned winegrowing estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The 46 acre estate, established in 1882, is distinguished by the historic Victorian home depicted on the label. Its entrance is graced by classic formal gardens, while the vineyard stretches behind to the Mayacamas Mountains.

The Spottswoode Estate was bought by Jack and Mary Novak in 1972. The first Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1982. Spottswoode also makes an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.

Dark crimson in color and starting to show some bricking at the edge of the glass. 14.1% ABV. Cedar, graphite and black fruits on the nose. Power and elegance at the same time. The classic iron fist in a velvet glove. Black currants, cassis, tobacco, leather and cherries on the palate. The finish is exceptionally long with prominent tannins. As close to Left Bank Bordeaux as Napa Cabernet Sauvignon gets. Great showing! Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 95 points.

The 2012 vintage will be released early next year. I will order a few bottles, but at $145 per, the wine is no longer the value it was 5-7 years ago. The 2010 received 100 points from the Wine Advocate. Available at the winery via the mailing list and quite often at retail.

I blogged about Spottswoode previously in Overlooked Wines from Great Producers.

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Pick My Next Bottle – 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The June Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. Voting will close this Saturday and the winning bottle will be opened this Sunday. A Bottle Note will be published shortly thereafter.

2001 was simply a great vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The Summer of 2001 was somewhat cool with temperatures rarely exceeding 85 degrees. This led to wines with somewhat higher acidity that have aged absolutely gloriously. The vintage has been compared to other Napa classics like 1974 and 1991.

The Contenders:

    • 2001 Pahlmeyer – More primary and backward, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon needs 4-6 more years of cellaring, but is capable of lasting three decades or more. Composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and a dollop of Malbec, it exhibits a dense, thick, black/purple color as well as emerging aromas of cedar, black currants, ink, graphite, charcoal and forest floor. This full-bodied, packed and stacked Cabernet offers a sexy, open-knit opulence on the attack followed by noticeable tannins. However, the latter component is clearly balanced by the wine’s stunning concentration, texture and overall depth. As stated above, forget this beauty for another 4-6 years and drink it over the following 25-30. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2001 Spottswoode – This is a beautiful wine, although more recent vintages may ultimately prove to be even better, particularly the 2007. This blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, from one of Napa’s prestigious sites on the valley floor tucked behind the town of St. Helena, has a dense blue/purple color and a beautifully sweet nose of spring flowers intermixed with raspberry jam, blueberries and black currants. Some licorice and subtle oak are followed by a quintessentially elegant yet substantial wine with sweet tannins, medium to full body and a seamless texture. Drinkable already, the wine will continue to offer the more elegant, complex, evolved style of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon produced in 2001 for at least another 15-20 years. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
    • 2001 Plumpjack – A more long distance runner, although approachable now, the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exhibits a similar dense plum/purple color in addition to notes of white flowers, black raspberries, black currants, lead pencil shavings and burning embers. Full-bodied and rich with low acidity, sweet tannin and a corpulent, nicely textured, long mouthfeel, it should hit its prime in 2-3 years, and last for 2+ decades. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2001 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should I open?

  • 2001 Spottswoode (43%, 25 Votes)
  • 2001 Plumpjack (29%, 17 Votes)
  • 2001 Pahlmeyer (28%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 58

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the July installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2000 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon – Bottle Notes

Spottswoode is a family owned winegrowing estate located on the western edge of St. Helena in the Napa Valley. The 46 acre estate, established in 1882, is distinguished by the historic Victorian home depicted on the label. Its entrance is graced by classic formal gardens, while the vineyard stretches behind to the Mayacamas Mountains.

The Spottswoode Estate was bought by Jack and Mary Novak in 1972. The first Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1982. Spottswoode also makes an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.

Deep purple in color. 13.5% ABV. Cherry, pencil and leather on the nose. Rich, full bodied and savory. Black currants, cassis and tobacco on the palate. There is also a hint of bell pepper that I tend to associate with the tough 2000 vintage. The finish is beautiful. Great wine from an off vintage. I have one more bottle that I will open in 2015.

My rating: 92 points.

The 2011 vintage will be released this Fall. I will order a few bottles, but at $145 per, the wine is no longer the value it was 5-7 years ago. The 2010 received 100 points from the Wine Advocate. Available at the winery via the mailing list and quite often at retail.

I blogged about Spottswoode previously in Overlooked Wines from Great Producers.

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2008 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc – Bottle Notes

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, located in St. Helena, made their first Cabernet Sauvignon with the 1982 vintage and is one of the true iconic Cabernet producers in Napa Valley. They also make an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.

Light pale in color. 14.1% ABV. The fruit is sourced from both Sonoma County and Napa County. Lemon, pear and flowers on the nose. Medium body and light acidity. Vibrant, exotic, rich and creamy. Cantaloupe, pineapple, lemongrass, lychee fruit and a spice component on the palate. Super wine that would be great with or without food. Drink over the next year or so.

My rating: 91 points.

Spottswoode makes one of the very best Sauvignon Blancs in all of California. The 2012 can be found for right around $40 at retail. I’ve got mine. Go get yours!

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Overlooked Wines From Great Producers

When you think Williams Selyem you think Pinot Noir. With Spottswoode you think Cabernet Sauvignon. Both of these wineries make other wines that I count among my favorites.

The Zinfandel and Chardonnay programs at Williams Selyem are second to none. However, when you receive an offer letter with a dozen different Pinots the one off Chardonnay and Zinfandel can easily get overlooked on the order form. Bob Cabral, the winemaker at Williams Selyem, might be known for his touch with the Pinot Noir grape but he is equally adept at producing world class, single vineyard, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. On the most recent Fall mailer I made sure to include an Allen Vineyard Chardonnay and Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel.

When the Spottswoode mailer arrives every Spring it is hard to read past the description of their newest Cabernet Sauvignon. Rightly so as this is one of the finest in all of Napa Valley. What many overlook is that Spottswoode also makes a Sauvignon Blanc that is delicious, exotic and age worthy. I always include at least a couple bottles to round out my Spottswoode order.

There are many examples but a few others worth considering include the Dehlinger Cabernet Sauvignon, Leonetti Sangiovese, Rafanelli Merlot and Kosta Browne Chardonnay,

Great winemakers make great wines. If you pass on varietals because they get less acclaim you are assuredly missing out on some exceptional wines.

I’d enjoy hearing about a few of your overlooked favorites.

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