Robert Parker 100 Points: “Tasted blind, in a lineup that included vintages back to 2010, a barrel sample of Spottswoode’s 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon stood out as being one of the most exciting efforts. Full-bodied, ripe, and rich without being overbearing, it delivers concentrated black cherry and cassis fruit framed by supple, velvety-textured tannins. It’s long on the finish, with an attractively soft, dusty-loamy texture and no overt signs of a fire-troubled Napa vintage.”
Winemaker Tasting Notes: “Our longstanding practice of picking our estate fruit when perfectly ripe meant that, serendipitously, our fruit was harvested by September 26. While our yields were down due to drought conditions, the quality and concentration of the fruit at harvest was excellent. Young and present, this is an energetic and bold expression of violets, lavender, and cassis mixed with dark chocolate, cherry, plum, and graphite. A wine happy to be tucked away in the cellar, and it’s also expressing itself beautifully now”
Winery Note re. 2020 Fire: “The 2020 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is beautiful, authentically expressing both time and place, which is and always has been our ambition. All of the fruit was picked prior to the Glass Fire, which started on September 27, 2020. At our estate, we had already picked 92% of the vineyard – we brought the final tonnage in on the 26th of September. This propitious timing was a calculated guess by Aron Weinkauf – we knew that high winds and power outages were imminent, it was hot and dry, and while one can never predict a fire, we knew that the remaining fruit had nothing to gain from additional time on the vine. It is important to note that we tested every lot of wine – every single lot – at AWRI in Australia. We also tested our finished wines back to 2008 so as to have baselines. We are happy to let you know that the guaiacol counts, both free and bound, in the 2020 Cabernets compare favorably to those of our other vintages. Which is to say, there is no smoke taint in the Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winery Note re. 2020 Yield: “Because our yields were down due to the small berries and clusters resulting from the severe drought conditions, production of our 2020 is down significantly from our 2019 vintage. Having said that, the quality and concentration of the fruit at harvest was excellent. We are truly sorry about this, and we thank you in advance for your understanding. Please know that we anticipate that production levels of our 2021 vintage will again be more “normal.”
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