Stuart Spoto felt his time was especially fruitful during Auction Napa Valley in June.
Ten cases of his 2010 Spoto Wines Private Reserve cabernet sauvignon fetched nearly $14,000 more than $115 per bottle. Proceeds from this prestigious auction benefit youth education and health care nonprofits in Napa and generated a record $16.9 million this year.
Another bit of auction news was even sweeter for Spoto, who runs a boutique winery from his Arden Oaks home. One of the wine world's most prominent blogs ranked Spoto's wine among the best tasted during that entire early-June weekend.
Vinography, written by wine blogger extraordinaire Alder Yarrow, listed Spoto's reserve cabernet in a field of "wines with a score around 9.5." Said Yarrow's concise tasting notes about Spoto: "Cherry bright, juicy, lifted, bright. Yum!"
Shafer Vineyards of the Stag's Leap District in the Napa area was the sole winery to earn the title of "wines with a score between 9.5 and 10," taking this slot with its esteemed Hillside Select cabernet sauvignon.
Spoto shares some pretty snazzy company on the list of 9.5 scorers. Among them: Kongsgaard, Blackbird Vineyards, Kenzo Estate, Spottswoode and other blue-chip Napa Valley wineries.
Though Spoto crafts his wines in Sacramento, he sources the grapes for his private-reserve cabernet from Oakville, the Napa appellation that's home to Screaming Eagle, Opus One and many other top California trophy wines. Spoto's reserve cabernet boasts a blend of 75 percent cabernet sauvignon and 16 percent merlot, plus small amounts of petit verdot, cabernet franc and malbec.
His 2010 Private Reserve cabernet sauvignon sells for $115. It can be purchased at shop.spotowines. com, but supplies are running low, said Spoto. The 2011 release of this wine is expected Sept. 10.
Meanwhile, Spoto is still beaming from Vinography's kudos.
"I'm very flattered that an independent person would give us an unsolicited (score) like that," said Spoto. "The auction was great. Not only did our wine do well, and we're pouring next to Spottswoode and having a wonderful time, but we got a lot of recognition. People are starting to pick up on us."
Call The Bee's Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias.