1987 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900157 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 In this hit-and-miss vintage that was not much heralded after the seemingly awesome trio of 1984 to 1986, Spottswoode has come up with an absolute masterpiece and easily its best wine of the entire 1980s decade. At twenty years old, it still has good color, plenty of vigor and richness, evident currant and loam aromas and a deep, solid, balanced structure in support of its ripe yet refined flavors. This one has a decade of perfect service in front of it and may last for years beyond that point. Two stars when first reviewed.  (4/2007)

91 points Vinous

 Full, deep red. More energetic on the nose than the '85, offering scents of currant, plum, herbs, camphor, cassis, cedar and tobacco. Conveys seductive subtle sweetness to its cassis, tea leaf, menthol and licorice flavors. Not fat but nicely pliant and suave, with subtle depth--and not at all edgy like the '82/'83 pair. A succulent wine with firm tannins and noteworthy energy. (ST)  (6/2016)

Jancis Robinson

 Dark crimson without too much development. Particularly mineral without that much development. Intense and complete - some sweetness, even a little cassis which you don’t find all that often nowadays! Slightly raw and brutal. I’d like to see this mellow a bit. Though very clean and brisk on the finish.  (11/2006)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Perfumed, high-pitched aromas of raspberry, cranberry, violet and oak. Silky on entry, then intensely flavored, with good minerally lift and rather strong but nicely integrated acidity. A penetrating wine with modest flesh, but still fresh and aromatic. Finishes with firm tannins and good grip.  (10/2002)

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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.