1989 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
If one owns this wine, think first of its many positives and add in a couple of extra points for richness and continuing ageworthiness. But, on a purely critical scale, one would hold back based on the beginning signs of cedar, herb and mushroom in the nose. It is a bigger, deeper wine than the 1988, and it has a longer future, but we wonder if that future will be all roses in composition.
Wonderfully glowing crimson. Almost marine sort of mineral note – real zestiness! Lightness of touch. Particularly vivacious on the nose. Very subtle and layered with lovely fullness without being at all sweet or alcoholic. Still quite dusty tannins on the finish. Just a little more subtle than the 1988. Big crop and it rained so no-one expected this to be this good. But Tony Soter decided to wait and let the rain go through and wait – so this was picked later than most. (LM) 18+/20 points.
A tannic wine from a tannic vintage, this has ripe plum and black cherry flavors with light earthy notes; it's firm and a bit austere.
From the winery's vertical tasting held on November 13, 2013: "Showing more age this year than last. Port, damp tobacco, tomato, orange, dried fig, cola, sage, sandalwood, bouillon. Nice entry; finishes with drier tannins. Deserves to be paired with a delicious cheese."