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'12 Spottswoode Estate Napa Cab... "Incredible" (98 JS, 96 WA) - 09/01/2015 - Cabernet Sauvignon (domestic)

2012 Spottswoode

2012 Spottswoode "St. Helena Family Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($159.99)

98 points James Suckling: "Incredible blueberries, blackberries, black walnuts, minerals, black licorice and flowers. Full-bodied, very tight and structured with hints of hazlenuts, fine chocolate and hints of minerals and spices. A solid and classic-styled Napa Valley cab. Layered and very fine." (04/2015)

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The opaque purple-hued 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a glorious bouquet of crème de cassis, spring flowers, a Pauillac-like lead pencil note, and background new oak. The overall impression is one of restraint combined with richness. This full-bodied effort possesses good acidity and ripe tannin. It has been crafted for the long-term. The hallmarks of great Spottswoode wines are their purity and elegance combined with serious power. The 2012 has that in abundance. This youthful, reserved Cabernet will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring, and will keep for two decades or more. " (10/2014)

93-95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Sample #1, not racked since last June: Bright medium ruby. Very pure, fruit-driven aromas of boysenberry and blackberry. At once chewy and vibrant, with harmonious acidity framing the dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors. Finishes with serious but sweet tannins. Sample #2, racked just a couple weeks before my visit: Much more tightly wound, with the blackberry and bitter chocolate flavors currently dominated by a firm tannic spine. But the length and energy of this wine are clear today. The ultimate blend should be a serious, structured wine with Spottswoode's classic purity. Winemaker Weinkauf described 2012 as "an idyllic growing season: the wine is not as tannic or dense as the '13 but has more vibrancy." There were more raisins in 2013, he added, and the harvest was over by October 7, or nearly three weeks earlier than in 2012." (05/2014)

95 points Antonio Galloni: "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon comes across as surprisingly medium in body and not as explosive as I had expected, perhaps a reflection of its recent bottling. Today the 2012 shows the more suave, silky side of the year, with considerable early appeal and pure radiance, butt less in the way of structure. Hints of mocha, spices and crushed flowers add nuance on the finish. All things considered, today the 2012 performs in line with the vintage, but does not appear to be the overachiever it has been in recent years. " (12/2014)