Spottswoode 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
2017 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” St. Helena, Napa Valley
NVWE Notes: 2017 is the third consecutive great vintage at this fabled Estate, yet it offers a gentler impression of tannic grip and will not need the long-range cellaring that is so apparent with the 2015 and 2016. The nose is a creamy-rich medley of blueberry jam, blackberry, black currant, black fig, cedar, sandalwood, toasted oak and dark pipe tobacco scents. The fruit tones prove even more forthcoming on the palate, where juicy flavors of black raspberry, blueberry, Cassis, and violet rise as a sweet-natured veneer above counterpoints of cedar, mace, clove, baking-spice, coffee bean and tobacco. These elements linger in polished harmony and act to submerge any hard-edges possessed by the wines tannic undercurrent. Expect five to seven years of steady improvement, but don’t be afraid to pair it with your favorite braised short rib feast.
Wine Advocate (97+ points): 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. (Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 31, 2019)
Jamessuckling.com (96 points): A soft, velvety red with dark-berry, blackcurrant and plum aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, creamy and delicious. Pretty tension of fruit and tannins.Very refined. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc and 4% petit verdot. Drink or hold. (James Suckling, December 12, 2019)
Vinous (96 points): 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! (Antonio Galloni, January 10, 2020)
Jebdunnuck.com (96 points): 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. (Jeb Dunnuck, January 31, 2020)
Wine Spectator (95 points): Features a sleek and racy edge with damson plum and black currant fruit working together, revealing pinpoints of savory, sage and iron scattered throughout.The mouthwatering finish shows the vintage’s slightly brambly grip, but with superior integration and energy to most of its peers. (James Molesworth, November 15, 2020)