A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 1997 is just short of perfection from this great vintage in Napa Valley. A spectacular wine, it was the first made by Rosemary Cakebread. Production was quite high, as the new plantings started to fully produce, with 4,800+ cases declared. This is wine that fills the olfactory senses with gorgeous ripeness, blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries and cassis, while spring flowers and a touch of oak still lingers in the aromatics. When the wine hits the palate, the extraordinary intensity, purity and multi-dimensional complexity all seem to converge with a cascade of fruit, glycerin and richness. Like most Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignons, it is only 13.8% alcohol. This is a magnificent wine, a young adolescent in the scheme of its potentially fascinating evolution and should have a good 25-30+ years left in it – although it’s strutting its stuff at present. Certainly in the first two decades of Spottswoode wines this is clearly one of the most compelling efforts. (RP)
Deep, bright ruby. Very ripe but reduced nose shows a chocolatey ripeness to the primary flavors of cassis, blueberry and licorice. Densely packed and powerful, conveying a tactile texture to the sweet flavors of black fruits, tobacco and spice cake. Firm acidity gives clarity and definition to the middle palate of this very concentrated wine. Finishes savory, deeply spicy and firmly tannic, with terrific length and grip. Considerably fresher and better balanced than a bottle I tasted for my Spottswoode vertical last year. (ST)
Elegantly framed, with rich, appealing herb, currant, chocolate and black cherry flavor that's complex and concentrated, finishing with firm, well-integrated tannins. (JL)
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