2002 Spottswoode "Spottswoode Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In 2002 very small yields produced only about 3,000 cases at 14.7% natural alcohol and a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Cabernet Franc. This wine is going from strength to strength since I first tasted it prior to bottling. Now a perfect wine, the incredible perfume of blueberries, black raspberries and cassis, along with white flowers and camphor is extraordinarily fragrant and intense. That is easily matched by the magnificent full-bodied richness and compellingly layered mouthfeel of this wine that is rich, full-bodied and a still youthful vintage that remains capable of another 25-30 years of cellaring. This is a dramatic vintage for Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and it is always fascinating to taste a top winery’s 2001 and 2002 next to each other because they are both such great years. However, the 2002s tend to be the more flamboyant wines, and the 2001s the more structured and broodingly backward. (RP)
Deep, saturated red-ruby. Ripe, almost liqueur-like black raspberry and truffle on the nose; and yet there's something very youthful about this. Generous, plush and sweet but with a tangy raspberry flavor keeping the wine in check. Rich, deep and wonderfully youthful. A touch of menthol emerges with air. A beautiful result from a hot year, despite having the highest alcohol (14.7%) of any vintage of Spottswoode to date. (ST)
*Two stars* Sweet, ripe fruit redolent of cassis and black cherries is perfectly filled out by creamy oak and root beer-like spice in the inviting aromas of this medium-full-bodied wine. It is supple but never soft in feel on the palate and has an appropriate spine of firming tannins in reserve. Well-stuffed and decently polished, it is likely to reward immediate drinking for those who are impatient but it will certainly improve with bottle age, and a wait of four to six years would seem the better choice.
*Cellar Selection* The estate is in St. Helena. The wine is dry, tannic and too young, an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins mask the underlying core of black cherry, black currant and cocoa fruit. This is a lovely, fine Cabernet, rich and supple, that should start showing well by 2010.
Exceptionally concentrated crimson. Very dark. Sweet and so young there are practically fermentation aromas still! Big and yet beguiling. Lovely soft texture. A bit like I imagine the 1990 in its youth. Very well made. Rather glamorous and ritzy – even a slight hint of coconut. Although it’s obviously a hot vintage there is Spottswoode elegance too. No shortage of alcohol though…! 18.5/20 points (LM)