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1999 Spottswoode - Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
  • 90 WA
  • 94 WS
  • 92 IWC
  • 83 JR
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 59253-1999-750-3A
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 92

    (aging in about 60% new oak, up from 50% previously; this is the first vintage crushed and made at the estate) Full medium ruby. Rich yet cool aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice and bitter chocolate. Dense and rich, with sharply delineated flavors of dark berries, chocolate and cedar. Offers compelling vinosity, and the structure for slow development in bottle. Finishes with fine, dusty, horizontal tannins and excellent persistence. With this vintage, all of the replanted vines are included in the blend, with the exception of a bit of cabernet franc yet to come.
    Author: Stephen Tanzer
    Issue: May/June 2002
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 94

    A dazzling wine, sleek and sophisticated, with beautiful ripe fruit purity. It has rich currant, crŠme de cassis, light mocha and herb shadings and a silky-smooth texture that firms on the finish as the tannins make their presence more evident. 4,321 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Jancis Robinson | Rating: 16

    Bright crimson. Very sweet, fruit juice impression rather than wine on the nose! Slightly cheesey note? Pretty ripe! Then rather dry tannins. Did some grapes shrivel at all? Not the most appetising? A little inky and stringy on the finish. Very small crop. (LM)
    Author: Jancis Robinson
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 90

    The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon (95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc) possesses a deep purple color in addition to a restrained but intense nose of black currants intermixed with lead pencil shavings, subtle toast, and a hint of acacia flowers. This textured, elegant, medium-bodied Cabernet is Chateau Margaux-like in its elegance, gracefulness, and balanced restraint. It displays surprisingly sweet tannin for a 1999 as well as outstanding purity.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 91

    Author: saint
  • Self | Rating: 88

    Author: VinoDeparture
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Author: jsp2000
  • Self | Rating: 93

    Author: JCashman
  • Self | Rating: 94

    Author: tiberite
  • Self | Rating: 91

    Delicious fruit, smooth and subtle spices. Decanted but still tight in first hour. Opened up nicely after.
    Author: JoelCalBear
  • Self | Rating: 93

    I decanted the bottle for 1 1/2 hours, put it back in the bottle, took to my friends and opened for another 1 1/2 hours. A deep ruby red wine with a beautiful nose of huge berries, wonderful soft tannins and a long one minute plus finish. A really nice wine needs some air, drinks beautifully.
    Drink Dates: 2010-2020
    Author: David 429
  • Self | Rating: 95

    Saved this wine for a special occasion and it didn't disappoint. Wonderful mouth feel, great structure, still plenty of fruit
    Author: minnowboy
  • Self | Rating: 92

    Very good, solid Cab. Still a lot of structure and flavor for a cab 16 years old.
    Author: Charley
Spottswoode is a family-owned historic vineyard and winery renowned for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. Established in 1882 by George Schonewald, the estate is distinguished by the historic Victorian home depicted on the Spottswoode label. Spottswoode was christened by Mrs. Albert Spotts, who owned the property from 1910 until its purchase in 1972 by Mary Weber Novak and her late husband, Dr. Jack Novak. The first Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon was produced in 1982, exactly one hundred years after the estate's founding.

The Novak family is committed to producing wines that faithfully reflect their grape origins. Each Spottswoode wine is known for its refined elegance, balance, and classic structure. Dedicated stewards of their property, the Novaks have farmed organically since 1985 and have pioneered the restoration of their local watershed.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 1328 bottles owned
  • 254 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 92
    (Out of 254 collectors)