2012 Spottswoode "Family Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (3L)

SKU #1280284 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 With the lowest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in of any of the wines from this vertical, the 2012 final blend was 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Production across the board in 2012 was high, and reflected in the 3,977 cases made at Spottswoode. This is a dramatic, flamboyant, modern-day version of the 2002. Dramatic blueberry, black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, along with camphor, charcoal, white flowers and foresty notes all emerge from the impressive aromatics that soar from the glass. The intense, explosively rich, full-bodied palate is layered with beautiful purity, stunningly sweet, silky tannins and terrific presence and complexity. This is a gorgeous wine on a relatively fast evolutionary track, I suspect, but certainly it has 30 years of upside left. (RP)  (8/2016)

98 points James Suckling

 Incredible blueberry, blackberry, black walnut, mineral, black licorice and flowers. Full-bodied, very tight and structured with hints of hazelnut, fine chocolate, mineral and spice. Layered and very fine. A solid and classic-styled Napa Valley cab.  (11/2015)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* The Novak family continue to produce an understated style of gorgeous Cabernet year in and year out. This vintage provides a fine example, a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, all from the historic, 40-acre estate. Complex and smooth, it offers an exotic array of cigar, tar, black pepper and currant, the tannins soft and integrated, yet strong. Coffee and chocolate make appearances on the finish, ever so slightly, never at risk of dimming its freshness. (VB)  (6/2016)

94 points Vinous

 Dark ruby-red. Superripe aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice, violet and rose petal. Wonderfully fleshy, fat, rich and sweet but with good energy to its flavors of dark berries, mocha and flowers. Finishes with noble, building, palate-coating tannins fully supported by the wine's dense, deep fruit and early baby fat. There plenty of structure here to support a slow and graceful evolution in bottle. (ST)  (6/2016)

90 points Wine & Spirits

 The Novak family has farmed their 40-acre vineyard under organics since 1985 (certified in 1992). Aron Weinkauf, who joined the team as assistant winemaker in 2006, took on vineyard management three years later and has since implemented biodynamic practices. He blends this Cabernet Sauvignon with 10 percent Franc and five percent Petit Verdot, producing a smooth, bright, sunny up-valley red that holds some of the coolness of the clay soils in which it grows. Earthy and youthfully green, this should age well.  (12/2015)

Jancis Robinson

 Bright crimson. Very fragrant turbo-charged Margaux style. Very determinedly claret-like! Extremely distinctive and appetising. 17.5/20 points (JR)  (2/2015)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.