Reviewed this wine about a year ago. It was in sort of a weird spot then, but this is really QUITE better now. A previous rating of this 2016 Amber Knolls almost one year ago was a 93, and I will definitely add another few points to this rating today. This wine has come a very long way in a year. Crimson pour to the glass. Nose of black and bing cherries, and seems to be a spicier, "warm climate" nose vs. the Crimson Ridge Cabernet which seems to be "colder" and "darker" by comparison. This wine first hits the tongue and immediately shows you all that it has. This is a red fruit dominant monster. The palate is dominated by darker bing cherries leading the way with a hint of some younger blackberries. Raspberry cola shows up right before an uptick of volcanic character and finishes with nice black pepper and baking spices. Still more youthful and sweet, this one has seemed to balance itself out quite a bit within the past year. A medium+ bodied mouthfeel yet the complex punch of a heavier weighted wine. Finishes rather long. A year ago, there seemed to be a "green-ness" about this wine that I wasn't getting this time around, and it has come to my attention that there's an "Extended Barrel Aged" version of this wine coming out soon, which should be a REAL TREAT. 96 points. Best drinking for this wine 2020-2035. — 2 years ago
@Delectable Wine this is Arianna by Spoto Wines... the wine entry needs to be modified. Dang. I've had a couple of torrontes, but this one blows them all out of the water. Nose of citrus and herbs. This wine begins with a very heavy, weighted mouthfeel. Dominant notes of lemon oil, lime creme brulee, herbal character and seems to get a little bit of limestone grit on the finish. Classic torrontes for the most part but on steroids (Silvaspoons Lodi) and with more of a weighted body and finish that resembles more of a chenin blanc. You wanna drink these now? Go ahead. Wanna keep them for five years? No sweat. Unfiltered. Originally ordered 3, then ordered a case, and now only have 7 total. Sigh... QPR this one is a 9.8! — 3 years ago
For a 2016 Spoto, this one did well. Of course, opening and Mollydooker shaking this one 7 hours beforehand likely did this one extremely well. Youthful black cherry, blackberry and dried herb. Middle and finish still has oak influence which is quite substantial. Really nice wine which will age nicely. — 3 years ago
@Delectable Wine This is the Crimson Ridge Vineyard of from Red Hills. The 2017 Crimson Ridge bursts with a lot of personality and style. Fairly high elevation, this wine poured a rather desirable crimson color (go figure) into the glass and was busting with black cherry, black licorice, smoke, graphite, cumin, baking spices. This had a very volcanic / red clay background from the nose to palate to finish. The palate is full-bodied, busting with black cherries, spice bread, cinnamon, builds black licorice to the back where figs, dates, hint of black olive swirling around as well. This wine finishes with a lot of youthful tannic character which softened with an hour in the glass. A bit of black pepper here as well. A ton of personality here in this wine already, yet SO young. Perplexing. I definitely think the best years of this wine are probably starting in 2022, with optimal drinking 2022-2035. Rated 94+ points. — 2 years ago
Revisited this bottle this past weekend to check condition before pulling the trigger on a re-up. Simply gorgeous, expressive, terroir-driven wine in its absolute prime right now. Nose is, to loosely quote @Alex Spoto, like taking a hike through the High Sierra wilderness, with intense eucalyptus, bay laurel, pine needles and cedar. Fruit is secondary on the nose, but it erupts on the palate with ripe black plums, blackberry bramble, and red and black cherry. All very ripe but slowly moving towards the intense, dried end of the spectrum. There is so much concentration and freshness to the fruit quality it is unbelievable that the wine is nearly 20 years old. Tannins beginning to soften and acid is still holding strong! In its prime now, I think, but I’m holding some for 5-10-20 years more. Legendary Cali vino for a song. Gideon’s final vintage! Enjoy! — 2 years ago
@Delectable Wine : This is the Spoto Napa Valley Chardonnay. I didn’t see it in the database.
Stuart Spoto and his wife spent some time visiting TX for a few days and put on a nice tasting at Classic. Talk about micro production, they only do around 500 cases of wine total across their 5-7 wines. Kind and salt of the earth type people.
This is the first time they’ve done this chardonnay as they’ve normally done an Oakville one. I asked Stuart where the fruit was from and he said spring mountain. Wow! Never would have guessed. This is light, acidic, and fairly Burgundian. Oak gives this a banana bread type note, but plenty of slate and stone fruits here. Young. Needs another year or two. — 3 years ago
@Delectable Wine this is Pedro's Block Malbec. .. It was not in the DBase.... Spent some time with this new 18 Vintage of Spoto's Malbec from Pedro's Block. A delightful, very youthful wine that will appreciate quite a bit in the next 1-2 years. The wine poured a ruby red / crimson into the glass. Nose was divided about 50% floral with lilac, jasmine, and rose petal and balanced nicely with sweet red plums, red candied applies. But, had a very volcanic kind of quality to it. The deeper the huff, the more you started to get a faint background of herbs. The entry is medium+ to full bodied red-fruited wine. Under-ripe sweet youthful tart red cherries and red plums. As it sits on the mouthfeel, a cherry cola note develops and the herbal quality of this starts to show. Finishes with a lot of acidic character, and fair amount of tannin. After a couple of hours, almost a graham cracker note came into the picture. This is not your purple fruited malbec, it is WAY more interesting than that. But I think the best is yet to come. Optimal drinking 2022-2032. Rating today is 90+, with potential for 93/94 in the next 3-4 years. — 2 years ago
I think my first ever pet nat a few years ago (poured by @Alex Spoto maybe?), and still among my all-time favorites. Wonderful juicy and sweet peach and strawberry fruit while also being incredibly savory and mineral. A touch off-dry? Enjoyed tonight with quick-smoked herb-rubbed salmon, Israeli cous-cous and a fresh salad. Perfect. — 2 years ago
Really enjoy Spoto from our hometown of Sacramento (especially the reserve cab using To-kalon Oakville Napa grapes). Medium red color. On the nose: cherry, floral, earthy. Taste: bright and fresh with cherry, raspberry, vanilla, mushrooms...restrained fruit, not a cherry bomb...thank goodness!! — 3 years ago
@Delectable Wine : This is Spoto’s Sii wine. I didn’t see it in the database.
This was opened along the ‘07 cuvée Christiane and I thought this out punched it substantially. Dominant merlot. Showing dark chocolate cocoa dusted dates, coffee grinds, and old licorice aromatics. Very plush and dense on the palate. Baked blackberry pie with cherry cordial. Wonderful, @Mark Flesher ! — 4 years ago