Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
|California, Napa Valley, St Helena
Tasted out of bottle, the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate showed beautifully, and it's certainly in the top handful of wines in the vintage. Offering beautiful red, blue, and black fruits as well as notes of tobacco, violets, and chalky minerality, it has medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, high-quality tannins, and outstanding length. It doesn't show any signs of smoke taint and is a beautiful, incredibly impressive effort in the vintage that I suspect will evolve gracefully for two decades.
There's a lot to like about this one, with an expressive mix of singed alder, dried violet and sweet bay leaf notes leading off, followed by a sleek, iron-accented core of warmed cassis and bitter plum fruit. Fine-grained through the finish, with everything knitting nicely. Best from 2024 through 2038. 3,150 cases made.
The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon shows good up front fruit, but that fades pretty quickly, ultimately exposing a compact mid-palate and abrupt, drying finish. This is a fine record of the year, but there is no way to get past the significant challenges 2020 posed.