Tasted in a big lineup of St. Helena Cabernets, Spottswoode’s magnificent ’05 stood out. It’s a massive powerhouse, explosive in black currant, cherry pie, plum, chocolate, anise and cedar flavors that are detailed and precise. However, the wine, which was blended with a little Cabernet Franc, is graceful and balanced. Drinkable now due to its softly refined tannins, but has the integrity to ride out the years. Easy to find, with 3,896 cases produced.
The utterly profound 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc) will benefit from several years of bottle age, and should keep for 25-30 years. This extraordinary effort exhibits notes of blueberries, cassis, spring flowers, licorice, and forest floor. Beautifully pure and full-bodied with excellent overall harmony as well as superb purity, it reveals a Chateau Margaux-like personality. (RP)
Hints of sweet tobacco, currants and berries on the nose. Full bodied and round, velvety with a lovely balance. Long and gorgeous.
Good full ruby-red. Expressive nose offers cassis, minerals, violet and brown spices. Suave on entry, then supple, sweet and seamless in the middle, without any impression of weight. This boasts lovely inner-mouth energy and lift. The sweet tannins arrive late, allowing the dark fruit and floral flavors to expand in the mouth. A highly successful vintage for this wine.
Tight and well-structured, with a firm, compact, dense mix of spicy currant, black cherry, plum and wild berry fruit that's pure and focused, revealing more subtle flavor nuances as this unfolds, along with depth and complexity. Best from 2010 through 2017. 4,290 cases made.
**One Star** Precise in its curranty focus and enriched by a full measure of sweet oak, this slow-to-start wine gradually unfolds to show elements of cola, root beer and jam as its takes on an increased guise of ripeness. While very rich, it drifts ever so slightly to dryness before running up against obvious tannin that invites a fair bit of aging.
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