Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars - Napa, CA

Stag's Leap Winery is heaven on earth!

The pathway from the parking lot is stunning with vistas galore!

We had the Estate Collection Tasting Flight ($40 per tasting, free for Club Members). It included:
  • Arcadia Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 ($60 a bottle) - according to Ned, our wine educator, this wine is more like a white Burgundy or Chablis than a California Chard - stone fruit, dry; Note - after tasting the red wines, we came back to this wine and it had a butterscotch aroma - amazing!
  • Fay Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($135 a bottle) - according to Ned, because of the plumpness of the grapes grown in alluvial soil, this is a gentler Cab Sauv - indeed, it had a chocolate finish, and was soft and dry with strong tannings
  • S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($135 a bottle) - grown in volcanic soil which drains well, this wine is the great-granddaughter of the wine that won The Judgement of Paris in 1976 - this wine is soft, chocolaty, and dry, with a smooth finish. I'm absolutely in love with it!
  • Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($260 a bottle) - fruit, spice, dry, strong tannins
  • S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (really expensive) - this was an extra taste that Ned brought out for us - dried fruit, soft, chocolate; I also have a note about Rudd Wine, Oakville in my tasting notes - not sure how that's related...

Here is the letter regarding the Judgement of Paris 1976 results. Amazing!

Here is a sheet documenting the results of the Judgement of Paris competition.

Here are the actual scores for the wines in the Judgement of Paris. Legend has it that one of the judges asked for her score card back so that no one would know that she rated the California wines higher than the French wines.

Okay, we were so enamored that we joined the wine club. The next morning, we took MU and RU on the Cave Tour and Tasting that is offered to all Club Members. Love this cute bear sculpture in the caves!

Here's Ned, our wine educator, leading us on the wine cave tour. These barrels are all French oak.

Here is one of the central rooms with a Foucault's Pendulum. The founder of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars had it installed here because he wanted to show how time affects the world (and winemaking).

These sconces were inspired by comets. Each major decision made by the founder of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars was made after a comet sighting.

Here are special wine barrels from France, made by master coopers.
These are the handprints of just some of the winemakers who have worked at Stag's Leap. This wall, and the one to the left of the plaque, represent the who's who of Napa Valley winemakers.

This was our Estate Collection Tasting after the wine cave tour. This morning (August 5) we tasted the Cellarius Collections Flight ($380 for all three bottles):
  • Cellarius Series I Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, from the valley floor - coffee, chocolate, strong tannins
  • Cellarius Series II Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, from the hillside - minerality, tea, soft and smooth tannins
  • Cellarius Series III Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, from the mountain - chewy and soft
I still prefer the S.L.V. - could be mostly the power of suggestion because it was the wine that won the Judgement of Paris, but I truly love this soft, gentle Cab Sauv!

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