The Spottswoode Winery is located in St. Helena in the Napa Valley section of California. The winery produces two Cabernet Sauvignons, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Rhone-style Syrah blend.
The 2008 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate was 92.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7.6% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged in French oak (65% new, 35% old) for 22 months. The label listed ABV was 14.5%. This vintage saw 1,954 cases of 750 ml and 220 cases of magnums produced.
As regular readers of this blog know, I have great neighbors. They have been huge supporters of NJVinoman.com (it helps that they like to drink wine!). One of them recently asked if I had ever tasted Spottswoode’s Cabernet Sauvignon, as he had had a bottle a while back and found it quite good. Since I had not, he thought it would be in the best interests of the blog if we were to sample some (yes!). He quickly set out to obtain the wine. Faster than you can say, “Napa Valley”, I had an invitation to taste some Spottswoode along with grilled steaks.
Strictly in the name of research, I felt obliged to accept.
There were two bottles of the Spotttswoode to study. The first was decanted for 2 hours, prior to tasting. This wine was tasted on its own and with light appetizers. The second bottle was uncorked 2 hours prior to our main meal, and consumed during, and after, the meal.
The wine’s color was a rich plum combined with black cherry.
The aromas from the glass were enticingly powerful. Rich black fruit, black currant and blackberry, along with cherry. There was the slightest hint of alcohol in the background.
Tasting the wine brought bold black fruit to the palate. Plum was joined by caramel and vanilla. I would describe the wine as medium- to full-bodied. The flavors were very well blended together. Without any food, the tannins were noticeable, but not unpleasant, and there was a bit of heat on the back end. Drinking with food, the heat completely disappeared.
The wine’s finish was medium to long, and so enjoyable with the meal.
Our main course for this wine consisted of grilled NY strip steaks (filet mignon for the women and children), oven baked garlic potatoes with sea salt, pepper, and cayenne, grilled Vidalia onions, grilled fresh corn and a garden salad (did I mention my neighbors are outstanding in the kitchen?). This wine went spectacularly with the food. The beef nicely cut the already subdued tannins. The spice from the cayenne was a perfect match for the tasty, big fruit of the wine. This wine is a winner with any grilled meats, especially steaks.
The 2008 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate retails for $135 to $150. It is a delicious, well-made, fruit forward, big Napa Cab (could I have fit any more adjectives in there?). If you have the opportunity to taste this wine, I would encourage you to do so. Once again, I thank my neighbors for bringing me this interesting wine to study (and for sharing a delicious meal!).