1986 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900130 96 points Wine Spectator

 This has everything: deep color, rich, ripe aromas and bold fruit flavors, a velvety texture, depth and balance. It's delicious now but will improve for years. (TM)  (12/1998)

90 points Vinous

 Dark, evolved red. Currant and licorice on the nose, plus an inviting floral element. Lovely penetrating, firm wine with harmonious acidity shaping its flavors of currant and tobacco. Not a fleshy Cabernet but restrained and elegant, and still with life ahead of it. This was a sleeper vintage, noted Beth Novak Milliken, adding that 'the 1985 was more meaty and in your face.' (ST)  (6/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 Healthy crimson. Rather lightweight nose. A bit reticent. Lovely lift and balance - great completeness. Great for now! Fully evolved on the palate. Just a bit muted on the nose. It seems ready to drink...and a bit dry on the finish, perhaps losing fruit slightly. Sappy. Appetising. 18/20 points (LM)  (11/2006)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 With an identical blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc, the 1986 seemed to have less character and aromatic intensity, with possibly a touch of oxidation in the nose. Once it hit the palate, it came alive showing charcoal, smoke, roasted herbs, blackcurrants and loamy soil undertones. This medium-bodied wine is fully mature and should be drunk over the next 4-5 years. (RP)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

Robert Parker called Spottswoode "th`e Château Margaux of Napa."

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Price: $119.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
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.