1997 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 1997 is just short of perfection from this great vintage in Napa Valley. A spectacular wine, it was the first made by Rosemary Cakebread. Production was quite high, as the new plantings started to fully produce, with 4,800+ cases declared. This is wine that fills the olfactory senses with gorgeous ripeness, blueberries, black raspberries, blackberries and cassis, while spring flowers and a touch of oak still lingers in the aromatics. When the wine hits the palate, the extraordinary intensity, purity and multi-dimensional complexity all seem to converge with a cascade of fruit, glycerin and richness. Like most Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignons, it is only 13.8% alcohol. This is a magnificent wine, a young adolescent in the scheme of its potentially fascinating evolution and should have a good 25-30+ years left in it – although it’s strutting its stuff at present. Certainly in the first two decades of Spottswoode wines this is clearly one of the most compelling efforts. (RP)
Elegantly framed, with rich, appealing herb, currant, chocolate and black cherry flavor that's complex and concentrated, finishing with firm, well-integrated tannins. (JL)
There is drama aplenty in this deep, complex, sturdy wine. As it reaches into its tenth year, its blatant fruit is fading but its underlying solidity is going to keep it going for years to come. It also shows faint hints of mushroom and cedar, and those aspects can be expected to grow over time.
Good bright red with ruby tones. Aromas of cherry, truffle, minerals, leather and camphor as joined by smoky wood notes of mesquite and hickory. This mellowed nicely with aeration, becoming increasingly claret-like and showing flavors of dried fruits and tobacco, with the exotic woodsmoke note receding. This smooth, substantial wine displays surprising energy for a hot year but turned a bit leaner and greener with time in the glass, showing a firm edge of acidity. (ST)