**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.
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.
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.
Deep, bright red-ruby. Sexy, very dark aromas of crushed black raspberry, boysenberry, menthol and licorice, with suggestions of very ripe fruit. A powerful and very primary wine with outstanding concentration and depth. Conveys an impression of medicinal reserve to its black cherry, dark berry and menthol flavors. Really exhilarating sugar/acid balance here. Finishes with big, ripe tannins and superb length. (ST) 94+
Hints of sweet tobacco, currants and berries on the nose. Full bodied and round, velvety with a lovely balance. Long and gorgeous.
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.
Production more than doubled with the 2005 vintage, given the normal flowering and weather conditions. Moreover, it was a relatively cool year and an abundant one at that, with just short of 3,900 cases produced. The blend was 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. This was the last vintage during the era of Rosemary Cakebread, who left Spottswoode to pursue building her own portfolio of wine. This is a reserved, but classic Spottswoode. An inky bluish purple color, notes of vanillin, white flowers, blackcurrants and blueberries are all present in this dense, rich, full-bodied wine that seems to go from strength to strength. This was a vintage across the board that I underrated, but I have seen how the wines have seemingly put on weight, complexity and density as they have evolved in bottle. This is a beauty and certainly one of the great recent Spottswoodes. It will continue to drink well for 20-30 more years. (RP) 98+
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