Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
A very elegant style of Napa Cabernet with cool well-balanced black cherry and blackcurrant fruits, some spicy new oak, and lingering dry tannins on the finish. Very drinkable now but will keep up to five years.

€95 – 115 a bottle from Clontarf Wines, Clontarf; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Whelehan’s Wines, Loughlinstown.

Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
This has more structure than the Lyndenhurst and greater concentration too. Restrained blackcurrants and dark fruits, some toast, but more a spiciness, and a firmly dry tannic finish. Classic Napa Cabernet to lay down for five years – or more.

Tiny quantities available. Try the importer for details.

I have always had a great love for classic Napa Valley Cabernet. Today many of the wines are supercharged, overripe, sweet and over alcoholic. Not at Spottswoode, one of the great traditional Cabernet producers. I would rate them alongside those of Cathy Corison – her wines are no longer imported I think, although you may find the odd bottle in Neighbourhood Wine and other independents. Spottswoode make only three wines; a (very good, atypical) Sauvignon Blanc, the Lyndenhurst Cabernet, made from a mix of younger vines and bought-in grapes, and the Estate wine. The Cabernets are both Bordeaux blends, made in a traditional style. This means earlier picking (useful in 2020 when they had harvested prior to the fires that swept through Napa), producing wines that are lower in alcohol with good structure and ageing potential.

The Novak family moved to Napa form San Diego in the early 1970’s. “My father wanted to live in a rural environment. He was also tired of being a G.P. and wanted to do something else”, Beth Novak, Spottswoode CEO told me. He looked for somewhere large enough to raise his five children and allow his wife to enjoy her passion for gardening. They sold their grapes to other wineries for the first ten years but began bottling their own wine in 1982. Spottswoode was one of the first estates in Napa to go organic (in 1985) and are now biodynamic, solar-powered, B Corp certified, and a member of International Wineries for Climate Action.

Posted in: The Wine on Wednesday, Top Drop

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