2009 Spottswoode Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 was, by all definitions, the third drought year in a row for California, but a mid-May downpour in St. Helena rehydrated our soils and the vines responded happily, with glossy-leaved canes reaching for the top wires of their trellises. The grape set was light, with lovely loose clusters of small, concentrated berries. Little adjustment was needed to ensure the amount of crop matched the canopy—a natural balance had been struck between grape and leaf.
Summer progressed mildly with a couple of the late-season heat spells that we’ve come to expect. We were relieved when the last of our grapes were harvested just days before record-setting rains hit the valley.
The 2009 Spottswoode Estate has inviting aromas of blackberry syrup, ripe cherries, dried wild blueberries, and pipe tobacco intermixed with rich dark chocolate. The vintage showcases a wonderful balance of acidity, vibrancy, and powdery tannins that float on the palate with flavors of sweet vanilla, hints of molasses and baking spices. The first-time addition of a small amount of Petit Verdot, which we planted in 2006, enhances our trademark deep color, while contributing a bit of additional weight and silky smooth tannins. This opulent wine has terrific density and structure making it enjoyable now, yet full of promise for great aging potential.