2003 Spottswoode "Estate" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1024672 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 In 2003, production jumped up to 3,700 cases, with the blend identical to so many other vintages with 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc. This was a year where there was some freaky heat spells, but this wine has come through nicely. Deep bluish purple with notes of blackberry and cassis and charcoal followed by a soft, velvety textured, opulent and full-bodied wine that seems to be approaching full maturity. It is interesting, this wine is far more evolved, and on a faster evolutionary track than the 2001 or 2002. Nevertheless it is a beauty, loaded, layered and impressive. It must be one of the top 2003s. Drink it over the next 20-some years. (RP)  (8/2016)

94 points Wine & Spirits

 The Spottswoode estate celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, and its latest release is a fitting tribute to the vineyard on the property first planted in 1916 by the Spotts family. The Novak family bought Spottswoode in 1972 and replanted the vines. Tony Soter made the first Spottswoode Cabernet in 1982; this current vintage was made by Rosemary Cakebread. Her '03 is lovely, a wine of tremendous richness packed with black currant flavor. It's smooth and lush, a sleek Napa Valley red, destined to be a classic.  (4/2007)

92 points Decanter

 The 2003 vintage was another ripe year, and the wine displays warm aromas of baked red and black fruits with details of baking spice and warm dust. On the palate the wine is large-scaled, with notable heft and tannic structure. (WK)  (10/2015)

92 points Vinous

 Saturated dark red-ruby. Briary black fruits, coffee bean, flowers and earth on the nose; more primary than the '02. Fat and plush, with pliant, inviting dark fruit and licorice flavor showing a bit of alcoholic warmth. (ST)  (6/2016)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 A sturdy young Cabernet showing great harmony and class. It's fresh in ripe tannins, very poised and balanced, with a great depth of cedary blackberry fruit. This is really classic Napa Cabernet, so elegant, and a great food wine.  (5/2007)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Subtle aromas of red currant, black cherry and plum carry over to the palate in an elegant, supple manner. Excellent balance, depth, complexity and length. The finish is long and persistent, keeping the emphasis on the fruit. (JL)  (10/2006)

91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Here is another outstanding effort from this exceptional winery. The grapes are grown in the St. Helena area at the north end of the Napa Valley's western benchlands that stretch from Yountville to St. Helena and are home to some of the world's leading red wines. In its better incarnations, such as this one, the wine is both ripe and very well-balanced with notes of currants and ripe cherries joined by rich, loamy suggestions and a noticeable layer of crème caramel oakiness. *Two Stars*  (12/2006)

Jancis Robinson

 Still very purple. Some floral notes on the nose – extremely youthful! Rather similar to 2002 – though with more acidity and bite. More prominent tannins because there is decidedly less flesh here. This may outlast it and even overtake it though… Briney finish. 17.5/20 points (LM)  (10/2006)

K&L Notes

96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc.

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Price: $139.99
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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.