1998 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #994884 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 1998 produced a smaller crop (4,300 cases), but was an identical blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine, like the 1997, was made at the Napa Wine Company, right before the Spottswoode Winery was completed. It exhibited no signs of greenness, despite the fact that it was a cool year with most of the heat coming at the end of the season. Notes of black and red currants, cedar wood, graphite and spice box are all present in this surprisingly strong 1998 that seems to have hit its plateau of full maturity. For that reason, it is probably best consumed over the next 7-8 years to take advantage of the delicious fruit that it has, although there is not the depth of structure and intensity of the great vintages. (RP)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

From the winery: "Pretty garnet color. Still walking a wonderful line between lush fruit and savory earth and herbal characters. Forward, lifted aromas of candied cherry and strawberry, brown sugar, and molasses meld with Turkish tobacco, tea leaf, green olive, cedar, leather, bell pepper, peppermint and dried flowers. Discernable, refined tannins. Fine, elegant, long, and supple. The acid dances along the palate. A slight tartness in the finish. Intriguing. Lovely again this year. Like a great vintage in Graves. Wendy (Heilmann, CS) suggests pairing with food." (12/2014)

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Price: $99.99
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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 M├ędoc 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. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- 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.