A small group of wine bloggers were invited by the Wine Hiker, Russ Beebe, to a tour and tasting at two well-known and famous Napa wineries. We met at Smith-Madrone on Spring Mountain and then went back down to the Valley floor for an exquisite lunch and tasting at Spottswoode in St. Helena. Visiting Smith-Madrone is always a kick because the Smith Brothers are so laid back and unpretentious. They both make you feel like you are an old friend. I have blogged previously about Smith-Madrone so if you want to know more about them read this post.
This was my first time to visit Spottswoode and to taste their wine. Spottswoode is all about Cabernet Sauvignon, not your ordinary Cab but one to be shared with family and friends for special meals and celebrations. The wine is some of the best Cabernet I have tasted in recent memory. The story began when Mary Novak and her late husband Dr. Jack Novak purchased the property in 1972. The vineyards behind their 1882 Victorian house consisted of a field blend of French Colombard, Gamay, and Syrah, all purchased in those days by Gallo. The Novaks ripped out the vineyards and replanted them with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. When phylloxera hit, all the vines were gradually replanted beginning in 1988. Originally, the Novaks sold all their Cab grapes and the word was out in the Napa Valley that these grapes were truly special.