August 10, 2021 - Two hour decant. Very deep magenta color. Browned vanilla cream cheese, blackberry, cherries jubilee, almond paste, and subtle graphite on the rich, decadent nose. Smooth, tongue drying palate, with soft, but persistent acidity. Firm, full, lower intensity tannins on the long finish.
This is certainly an easy drinker, but not a value at this price point. It’s so over the top that it comes across as being manipulated. It could also use more complexity. I enjoyed this, but won’t be buying more. I get very critical when paying more than $200/bottle.
March 3, 2021 - Needs 30 minutes to open up but then is very good, especially with steak. Not the 100 point wine given by all the critics but pretty darn solid, would definitely drink again. $200 is a little pricey but not by much.
December 15, 2020 - With 30 bottles, I felt compelled to try a first one now. First sniff and taste after PnP were very positive. Big, fresh blueberry flavors dominated. We then decanted and enjoyed over 2.5 hours. This is a very good wine now that, I believe, will become even better with time.
October 6, 2020 - I don't see the hype. Where's the density, concentration, and dryness like the old days/vintages of this wine? There's high toned and intense primary fruit, but that's about it for me. No layered fruit, no precision. I gave this days to evolve and impress but it failed.
September 26, 2020 - For old times sake: Red and dark berries in the bouquet plus a pleasant touch of vanilla. On the palate still a bit lactic, Juicy acidity, beautiful touch of sweetness. Complex, beautiful and juicy wine. Probably wise to wait another decade.
August 6, 2020 - While a very good wine, this was disappointing vs expectations. Usually, Spottswoode is more on the elegant side, although in no way old-worldish. But this bottle didn’t show as layered nor especially precise. I’m a fan of the property, but this bottle was quite far away from the best 2016s I’ve tasted so far (Dana, Morlet). Maybe the setting wasn’t right (summer, dining outside, served after some more aged wines). Anyway, I would let this vintage flesh out a bit and wait for more complexity to develop.
TN: Typical fresh forest berries along some baking spices and hints of minerality on the medium expressive nose and more so on the intense, fleshy palate. Fine tannins and medium- acidity with good length. Not on par with the best wines in terms of depth and freshness.
Decanting: Not decanted. Good from the go but maybe 3-4 hours would have unlocked more aromas.
June 7, 2020 - 14.5% abv. Dark crimson purple color. Whiff of heat initially on nose. Red and blue berries, kirsch, graphite, licorice root, loam, baked bread. Nice acidity, fine grained tannins. Med mouthfeel, quite smooth, long silky and sophisticated finish, quite layered, gives up many surprises as it unfurls.
June 3, 2020 - I'm almost reluctant to give this wine a score right now because it is so young, so this rating is based on how it was drinking today with an hour of air. Clearly an extremely well built wine, but mostly closed down to me. I still enjoyed drinking it, but you can tell that a lot of the secondary notes and flavors are just begging to come out, but are held back by a huge and finely tuned structure. Glad I have a second bottle of this... will ideally wait 5 years to try it again.
May 31, 2020 - (A night of socially distanced, outdoor winedrinking of cabs/Cal Bordeaux + 1 chard with Aaron Maxwell and Tiffany) One of 3 contributions from the extravagantly generous AM/T, this wasn't even on the original menu and wasn't decanted, but after AM coravined us small pours, we knew we had to break into this, and what a wine it was! Even ridiculously young, by my standards for a great cab, and without air, this jumped out of the bottle singing, with intense cherry, cassis, ripe berries, vanilla and tobacco. Deep, dark purple, full-bodied, thick legs. Medium acidity, medium+ but silky tannins, no heat. Off the charts persistence, intensity and complexity. Powerful but structured, slightly sweet but perfectly balanced with a savory note, this wine stuns; I have no other word for it, showing a maturity at 3 and a half which would be of note for a wine several times its age and which was as remarkable as the youthfulness of the 14 year old Verite. This was a close WOTN for me over the Verite because of the superior nose and just a trace more intensity, and that's saying something, as the Verite was an all-time top 5-10 wine. I don't know if this will/can improve, but it certainly has the structure to drink at this level for a looong time. Drank with cheese and charcuterie, but no reason to think this wouldn't be an awesome complement to something red and meaty. Can't evaluate the staying power over an evening since, despite drinking generally demurely over the evening with the other wines, we slurped this down in less than an hour, so it didn't have a chance to show development or fall off, although I wouldn't expect the latter. At the W-S price or something close, a great value for a top shelf cab. As I said with the Ovid, I'm unlikely to drink a Screagle, Harlan, or Promontory (although hopefully at some point, an Abreu or Colgin), but I can't imagine that something that's 2,3 or 10x the cost of this would be a relative value. In case you couldn't tell, I kinda liked this . . .
May 30, 2020 - Drank a bottle earlier tonight with Tiffany_Kerry and SFWineLover1 — wow, what a wine.
Though young, it didn’t show any harshness or sharp edges. This was equisite. For me, this rang of vanilla, cassis, and pure happiness. Next to an ‘09 Opus an ‘04 Verite, this was the clear favorite.
Over an hour, I couldn’t discern much evolution. I’m eagerly awaiting a second tasting.