Deep and saturated with a core of blueberries, black plum, … Total production Average 64,000 cases. Yet, wines that are too forceful, no matter from where they derive, can be one-dimensional, even tiring, as they can lack elegance. ‘It is the financial appellation,’ Ogenfuss says – quite a claim, in Napa. Petite Sirah has been produced at Stags’ Leap Winery for over 45 years, and Paubert enjoys working with this varietal. a few years later he sent the 1973 vintage to Steven Spurrier’s now-legendary Judgment of Paris tasting, and straight into the history books. This has become one of the most elegant and unheralded of all current Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignons.

Most of that is at Stags’ Leap Winery, and Quixote, the winery set up by Stags’ Leap’s former owner Carl Doumani, who has just sold to a Chinese- backed company for more than US$20m (£12m). Napa Valley is home to rich, ripe, sometimes powerful reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, the area’s most widely planted grape. Medium-full with excellent concentration, beautifully integrated wood notes, rich, young tannins that are elegant; good acidity. Prunes were once big business in California’s Napa Valley, and in the late 1960s Nathan Fay’s Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, just off the Silverado Trail under the craggy escarpment known as Stags Leap Palisades, were surrounded by them. It is the only wine we use American oak with, and only 25%, which is a very good pairing with the spiciness of the variety.”. Stags Leap District – which celebrating its 25th anniversary as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) this year – is an odd mix of the corporate and the cosily domestic. It grows in the same climates and soils as Cabernet Sauvignon, and is invariably overshadowed. It’s all about balance - thank you, Christophe and the team at Stags’ Leap Winery! Add To Cart. Excellent and a fine value at $60. So he bought about 12 hectares of prunes next to Fay and in 1970 planted a portion of it to Cabernet Sauvignon, calling it SLV – Stag’s Leap Vineyard. Then there are big family-run producers such as Baldacci and Regusci, producing solid, high-end wine almost entirely for a domestic market. Chardonnay is also very successfully cultivated, and about 30% of the AVA’s acreage is planted to white grapes, with the majority of those grapes being Chardonnay. We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience possible on our site. ‘By day we can be as hot as Calistoga, by night we’re far cooler,’ bringing that sought-after combination of ripeness and acidity. This would be excellent paired now with duck breast or goose with a plum sauce. About 80% of the grapes in Stags Leap District are Cabernet Sauvignon, and with good reason, the district’s veteran growers maintain. Napa Valley AVA is the most famous winemaking region in the United States and one of the most prestigious in the world. “What some people may see as advantages may be seen differently by others. Photo courtesy Stags' Leap Winery. “This appellation is unique as it produces powerful and elegant wines (which are characteristics difficult to combine), and with incredible tannin texture. The result is darker and fuller. A few winemaking decisions may influence the outcome though, like when you pick or maceration length as well as farming. Excellent ($47). I spoke with Paubert about making Cabernet Sauvignon in the Stags’ Leap District - what are the primary benefits of growing this grape and other Bordeaux varieties in this area? Medium-full with ideally ripe black fruit, good acidity medium-weight refined tannins and very good persistence. For the past 20 years, I have been a freelancer, writing. Add To Cart. Quantity Case for 2017 Stags Leap Petite Sirah Napa Valley. The Leap is a splendid wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon of excellent depth and freshness with an elegant presentation of round, sleek tannins and good acidity. Many Stags Leap District wineries cater largely or exclusively for a domestic market, which often demands wines showing that classic Napa profile of the past decade: oak, bombastic fruit and alcoholic heat. I also write for Decanter in England as well as wine-searcher.com. Lovely complexity and harmony. Size: 750ml Vintage: 2016 Country: United States State: California Region: Napa Valley. The lower, western reaches of the district, down the Napa river, are alluvial – a blend of gravelly loams with clay-based substructure.

Jim Regusci’s wines are a case in point. Other winemaking pioneers followed in the late 19th century, including the founders of Charles Krug, Schramsberg, Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyards.

Winemaking started in Napa in 1838 when George C. Yount planted grapes and began producing wine commercially. You’d be hard pressed to find an entry-level wine at less than US$60 (£36), and the average for a mid-level estate Cabernet Sauvignon is around the US$125 (£75) mark. Paubert, who is also the winery’s general manager, began his work at Stags’ Leap Winery on July 13, 2009; he says the date is easy to remember as “it was the day before Bastille day.”. While the Napa offering contains almost no fruit from the Stags Leap District (Paubert says that as “the appellation is so small it is very difficult to find fruit”), he notes that none of the vineyards sourced for this wine are north of St. Helena, a warmer area of Napa Valley.

Paubert also produces a Petite Sirah, a variety that was much discussed in California in … Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was known as one of the prominent country retreats in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. While I found his Patriarch 2010 too hot on the finish, the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was perfumed and exotic, with a lovely nettley greenness at the end. ‘I tasted Nathan’s 1968 Cabernet Sauvignon and it inspired me to establish a Cabernet vineyard as close as possible to his,’ Winiarski remembers. This is where knowing the producers comes into play, and in Napa, it’s quite helpful if you realize which estates craft wines that are complex, beautifully textured and approachable upon release. Steltzner believes they have more hang-time than the rest of the valley, resulting in more phenolic ripeness, which coupled with cool nights allows acid retention.

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