1998 produced a smaller crop (4,300 cases), but was an identical blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine, like the 1997, was made at the Napa Wine Company, right before the Spottswoode Winery was completed. It exhibited no signs of greenness, despite the fact that it was a cool year with most of the heat coming at the end of the season. Notes of black and red currants, cedar wood, graphite and spice box are all present in this surprisingly strong 1998 that seems to have hit its plateau of full maturity. For that reason, it is probably best consumed over the next 7-8 years to take advantage of the delicious fruit that it has, although there is not the depth of structure and intensity of the great vintages. (RP)
Ripe and mineral and luscious on the nose. Very, very very slightly stewed on the nose. Sweet start on the palate, could do with just a tad more acidity and freshness. Soft and round. 17/20 points. (LM)
Decidedly herbal, with moderately ripe currant, earth, sage and wild berry flavors, too.
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