This wine opens with inviting aromas of dark raspberry, mocha and vanilla with a hint of red licorice. This vintage also shows the signature bright cherry note of the vineyard. The aromas are followed by red and blue fruit flavors that meld with black licorice, black raspberry tea and sage on the palate. The wine has a sweet fruit entry with structured tannins – promising long life in the cellar – and a lingering floral note on the finish. Enjoy this estate-grown Cabernet with coffee-rubbed pork loin, braised short-ribs with grilled polenta or wild mushroom risotto.
Napa Valley (100% Estate)
JS 95, Cellar Tracker 93, JR 17/20
FAY vineyard remains one the great Napa Valley vineyards, producing fruit with an abundance of supple red and black berry character, voluptuous perfume and a luscious, fine-grained texture. Almost two-thirds of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2011 blend comes from blocks in the lower and middle sections of the FAY vineyard, which give the wine its classic red-fruit tones and aromatic top notes. The balance was sourced from the upper section (eastern blocks) of FAY, which tends to be more powerful and lends structure to the wine. When the various lots are blended and aged in French oak barrels, the resulting wine gives us the classic expression that is a hallmark of our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, “an iron fist in a velvet glove.”
The 2011 vintage was a cool, wet and late vintage. The cool, wet weather pattern extended from winter through the spring until about mid-June. Many vines experienced a delayed bud-break and the unusually wet spring disrupted bloom, resulting in lower fruit set in some vineyards. The summer was mild and without the normal extended heat spikes providing a cool, slow glide into harvest. This was a year where it was very important to do timely “detail” work in the vineyards to open up the vine’s canopy. This allowed for light, air and warmth to penetrate the fruit zone and aimed the fruit in the direction of ripeness. At harvest the importance of cluster selection, both in the vineyard and at the winery, could not be overlooked. Despite the lighter crop and overall weather pattern in 2011, the signature Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars style of balance, elegance and restraint shines through in this wine.