Today’s Story: Spottswoode
Spottswoode traces its roots to 1882 when a German immigrant by the name of George Schonewald and his wife Catherine purchased 31 acres at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains with the intention of using it for a summer home. The Spottswoode name, however, did not come around until 1910 when Susan Spotts acquired the estate. As Prohibition dawned, the Spottswoode estate fell into disrepair but the family continued to sell grapes to the Christian Brothers Winery which made sacramental wines. The estate remained under ownership of Spotts family descendents until, in 1972, Mary and Jack Novak purchased the estate and moved their family to St. Helena. The Novaks quickly set about expanding with an additional 15 acres and replanted their pre-Prohibition vines to Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc. Jack passed away unexpectedly in 1977, but Mary was determined to continue their dream and completed her first harvest while selling fruit to wineries including Shafer and Duckhorn. In 1982, Mary christened the estate Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery and produced her first Cabernet Sauvignon. Spottswoode started utilizing organic farming methods in 1985 and became certified organic in 1992 by CCOF. Today, Spottswoode remains under the watchful eyes of Mary’s youngest daughter Beth, who joined in 1987, and Mary’s oldest daughter Lindy, who joined in 1992.
To learn more about this historic and award-winning winery, check out their website here. You can browse their portfolio, read about specific farming and winemaking practices, or view pictures of the beautiful grounds and Victorian home which adorns the labels.
Today’s Wine: 2018 Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc; 14.1% ABV
The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is transparent deep straw in color with yellow variation. The expressive nose showcases aromas of Meyer lemon, cantaloupe, golden apple, lime zest, lemongrass, honey, saline mineral, white pepper spice, and cream. On the palate, I get notes of white peach, lemon and lime zest, grapefruit, green apple skins, freshly cut grass, brioche, white florals, and vibrant minerality. This is medium-bodied with high acidity and a lush, fully-rounded mouthfeel leading into a finish that lingers and lingers.
Price: $40 ($35 if you’re lucky). One of the better California Sauvignon Blancs I’ve enjoyed, though I tend more toward France. This bottle is crying for a hot summer’s day, and I’d be curious to try it on such a day with a few more years of bottle age. Pair this with oysters, Dover sole, or grilled chicken salad.