This past weekend we made our way up to Spottswoode in St. Helena for the winery’s annual late Summer garden party. Guests were invited to enjoy a total of six different wines, as well as gourmet cheeses, fresh vegetables, wood-fired pizza and much more.
We arrived a bit late and found the grounds packed with people. There was still plenty of room and it was fun to explore the property, which despite all the people still seemed quite peaceful.
The following wines were available for tasting and we tried them all:
Spottswoode 2007 Sauvignon Blanc ($32 per 750ml bottle). We really liked this wine, finding it light, crisp and just the right compliment to a hot summer afternoon. The only criticism we could come up with was the price, which at $32 is a bit higher than we’re used to seeing for a Sauvignon Blanc. Here’s how the winery describes it:
The nose is perfumey and richly Sauvignon Blanc in character. Sweet apricots and notes of crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e and vanilla playfully intertwine amongst grapefruit and orange peel. Uniquely textured, the wine enters with excitement, is delicately rich and oily at the center, and lengthy in the finish. Round and rich, this vintage exhibits orange peel and stone fruits with a pleasing minerality.
Spottswoode 2005 Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon ($60 per 750ml bottle). Of all the Cabernet we had (and we tried several), this was our personal favorite. Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, there were just over 1,200 cases produced and the wine was aged in 100% French Oak. At $60 this is a solid option for a prime Napa Valley Cabernet. Here’s the winery description:
The 2005 Lyndenhurst begins with aromas of dark roasted coffee deliciously evolving into malted cocoa, ripe plums and chocolate-covered cherries. Supple and approachable, bright and rich, the 2005 is fresh and inviting. Soft tannins are infused with lavender, pine and toasty oak, rewarding flavors to the end.
Up next was a vertical tasting of the 1996, 2002 and 2005 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon. Each had its own unique characteristics, but for our palates we seemed to keep coming back to the ’05. This wine is quite a bit pricier ($130 per 750ml bottle) and the winery describes it as follows:
Ripe, expressive, plummy fruit with hints of raspberry, ripe dark cherries, dried blueberries and licoriceâ€”all trademark flavors of the Spottswoode Vineyardâ€”expands on the palate to toasty oak notes, dark and seductive, with sweet creamy caramel culminating into a beautiful, long finish.
Finally, we were treated to a taste of the Spottswoode 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from the barrel, which was clearly quite young but showed some great promise.
Below are a few photos from our visit. If you’re planning a Napa Valley visit we recommend arranging a stop in to see the folks at Spottswoode–not only are they producing some excellent wine, but they’re good, friendly people too.