1988 Spottswoode Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900358 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The ’88 Cabernet from Spottswoode has aged beautifully. The nose is open and generous with black fruits, cedar, pinecones and orange blossom. The palate is well-knit with very good concentration considering its age with just a hint of strawberry sorbet on the entry entwined with star anis. Lovely definition and poise, with a silky smooth finish, this bottle is well above my expectations. Tasted June 2010. (NM-Wine Journal)  (7/2011)

Jancis Robinson

 Very dark blackish crimson. Still quite youthful, or at least relatively inexpressive on the nose. Lovely gentle texture on the palate with real lift. Very elegant texture although it hints that it has still to reach its full aromatic potential. Quite long and dusty on the finish. The millikens have always perceived it as being difficult but it has apparently been increasingly impressive in recent years. 18/20 points (LM)  (10/2006)

K&L Notes

"As I have always said, if there is a Chateau Margaux to be found in Napa Valley, it is Beth and Mary Novak's iconic Spottswoode winery, situated on the back streets of St. Helena." (Robert Parker, 6/2012) From Spottswoode's 2008 library tasting: "Mature, robust and somewhat earthy. Dried bay and tea leaves, leather, menthol, smoke, forest floor, minerals, but also some cloves and spice, candied apple, and brown sugar. Rolling, dark flavors. Nice balance. Good follow-through to the warm, attractive palate. We decided this would be a great match with Peking duck."

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Price: $89.99
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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.