Skip to main content
Spottswoode cabernet

A Spectacular Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting

In February this year we were treated to a fantastic tasting of one of Napa's icon wines, the Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

Spottswoode’s wines are rightly revered. Among the finest reds made in the Napa Valley, these Cabernet Sauvignons have achieved cult status for good reason; they are exceptional. In February of this year, we were fortunate to go to a tasting at London’s NoMad hotel that included three 100-point vintages.

The history of this benchmark estate:

Spottswoode is an old estate in Napa terms with wines made here since the late 1800s. It is located on the western edge of St Helena and stretches over 42 acres, watched over by the second-generation team of sisters Beth Novak Milliken and Lindy Novak, whose father and mother bought the estate in the 1970s.

From humble beginnings, Spottswoode has achieved true greatness with critical acclaim rivalling that of the greatest fine wines made anywhere in the world.

The wines: Spottswoode crafts two reds, the Grand Vin and the Lyndenhurst

The First Wine, the Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon, is magnificent. Supremely balanced and elegant in style (this is not a Napa fruit bomb) it is gorgeous young and ages magnificently.

The Lyndenhurst is effectively the second wine of the estate and is made from declassified Spottswoode fruit as well as grapes bought in from a small number of trusted growers. Lyndenhurst is a more forward and open style than the Grand Vin.

A remarkable tasting that included three perfect wines:

This was a special tasting. Not only did Beth show recent releases, but treated us to rare back-vintages, including the 100-point 2012 and 2007. It gave a fascinating insight into just how well these wines age.

2019 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

Silky smooth, with a cashmere quality as it flows across the palate. Perfect balance and tannins that are of such quality that they are near imperceptible. Long and intense with a stunning finish.

2012 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

Still dark and brooding and youthful. Complex nose of dark fruit that gives way to a meaty, savoury quality. Smoky black fruit on the palate pulses along and lingers on the palate with a haunting quality thanks to the fineness of the acidity.

2007 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

Still surprisingly youthful looking. Dusty tannins and firm acidity that yields with time in the glass. Excellent length.

1998 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

Slightly pale at the rim which hints at the age. A gorgeous red fruit nose: ethereal and perfumed, you could almost be in Margaux. 1998 was a cool Napa vintage and this is reflected in a mid-weight wine that is precise and layered with lovely persistence.

This is a Test 2