"One has to go back to 1984 to find as tiny a crop for Spottswoode as the 2004. The extreme heat and subsequent early harvest caused some problems that year, but the quality was extremely high, although there wasn?t much of it ? only 1,532 cases were made. The wine, a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc came in at 14.4% natural alcohol. The wine is spectacular and falls right into my observations when I did the 2004 Northern California retrospective several years ago. Only 30% of the crop was actually used in this extremely hot vintage. Loads of big, sweet, floral-infused blackberry and cassis fruit are present in this wine, which is multidimensional, has magnificent intensity, terrific unctuousness, in a very Ch?teau Margaux style, despite the conditions under which is was produced. There is an elegance and fragrance, yet power allied to full body that is striking. This wine, while on a relatively rapid evolutionary track, should hit its peak in another 3-5 years and last 20-25." -RP 96
Spottswoode, a wine producer located in St Helena, releases only four wines every year, with the focus being on Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah.
The estate itself was established in 1882 by George Schonewald, who planted grapes and built the Victorian farmhouse which is there today. It came under its current ownership in 1972 when the Novak family bought the estate, and their first Cabernet Sauvignon wine was released in 1982. Today, there are 18 hectares (45 acres) of vines planted, most of which are Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards have been certified organic since 1992.
Spottswoode's Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is made from grapes grown in the estate vineyard, at the foot of the Mayacamas mountains. It is aged for 20 months in French oak, two thirds of which is new, and depending on the vintage may have a proportion of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Sauvignon Blanc is predominantly made from estate fruit, with a small portion coming from grapes purchased from surrounding vineyards. Spottswood also make a second Cabernet Sauvignon wine, the Lyndenhurst, and tiny amounts of Syrah that are bottled under the name 'Field Book'.