Stags Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars stunned the world in 1976 when its 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of Bordeaux’s first-growth wines in a tasting in Paris. It was the winery’s first commercial vintage, a wine produced from young, three-year-old vines. While the “victory” over the French in “The Judgment of Paris” continues to be hailed throughout the world – and the winery is still humbled by the achievement – Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars enters its golden anniversary year with a commitment to producing more complex and age-worthy wines. No resting on laurels, no autopilot, no complacency, but rather a drive to ensure the next 50 years are even more glorious than the first 50.A step back in time puts Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ current and future plans in perspective.
The estate was founded in 1970 with the purchase of orchard land in what is now the Stags Leap District AVA in southeastern Napa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes replaced the prunes and walnuts, and the winery was built in 1972. A wine was made there in that year, but it was the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon that impressed – and shocked – a panel of experts on French wine. In the 1976 Paris Tasting, a blind tasting, they chose S.L.V as the finest red wine in the group, without knowing its provenance. The outcome brought international recognition to the infant Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the nascent Napa Valley wine region, and the entire American wine industry and put all on a path to worldwide renown.
S.L.V. Vineyard S.L.V. soils are predominantly volcanic in nature and contribute multilayered structure, concentration and spicy intensity, often referred to as the “fire-like” elements. S.L.V., also known as Stag’s Leap Vineyards, is the winery’s first vineyard. Planted in 1970, this vineyard achieved international fame when three-year old vines from the 1973 harvest produced a Napa Valley wine that triumphed over some of France’s greatest Bordeaux in a blind tasting among French wine experts in Paris. This history-making Stags Leap District vineyard continues to produce wines with complex black fruit and berry character, spicy intensity, excellent structure and complexity, promising long life and ageability. Today, the property encompasses roughly 35 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and 1.5 acres of Cabernet Franc. The vineyard soil is volcanic and alluvial with good drainage, and benefits from warm afternoons and cool evening breezes.
All from the estate S.L.V. Vineyard in Stages Leap and aged 21 months in 90% new French oak, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. sports a deep purple/ruby color to go with a Saint-Julien like notes of blackcurrants, damp earth, tobacco and lead pencil. With medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, sweet tannin, beautiful purity and a great finish, it’s another terrific wine from this estate that can be drunk today of cellared for 15+ years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"I loved the 2014 Pedestal Merlot and it’s 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a downright voluptuous and incredibly sexy style in its ripe black currants, toasted spice, chocolate and licorice aromas and flavors. Broad, expansive, layered and pleasure bent, with ripe tannin, it's a knockout Merlot that's going to have 10-15 years of drinkability. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 95 pts
Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc has beautiful ruby red with purple highlights.
It displays aromas of ripe red berries with a nice wood smoke complexity, thanks to the aging in French oak barrels. The wine has a very good structure, but the tannins are still quite round and integrated.
Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. No filtration and no fining.
The finish is very long and will allow the wine to be consumed with food, such as grilled meat or cheese.
"All made with purchased grapes from Vista Flores, this is a little on the oaky side, with 80% new barrels showing lots of mocha and toast on the nose. The palate has the texture, capsicum and green pepper and red berry fruit flavours to cope, with good perfume and presence and supporting acidity. Needs more time in bottle."
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2020), 90 pts
Chakana Cabernet Franc is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc.
Chakana is the name of the Southern Cross constellation. Its rotation in the sky throughout the year made it an effective agricultural calendar for the ancient Andean people.
Expressive and ripe nose, juicy texture and intense fruit. Excellent balance, well integrated tannins and stunning minerality.
Tomahawk Vineyard is the pinnacle of the Chimney Rock estate. Comprised of a small group of vines which were planted in 2002, Tomahawk consistently produces intense, massively complex fruit. The ensuing wines are truly world-class, compelling, powerful and elegant with a remarkably lengthy finish.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Tomahawk Vineyard offers a darker fruited, meaty, masculine and mineral-driven style. Coming from a site in Stags Leap, and aged in 80% new French oak, it's medium to full-bodied and nicely textured on the palate, with solid balance, good ripeness, lots of tannins, and a good finish. Forget bottles for 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.
-Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Early to bud and early to ripen, the 2014 vintage was our third drought year in a row. Dry, even temperatures marched the grapes along at a steady clip all year and created a wine with beautifully integrated fruit, acidity, and tannin.
Dense and dark magenta in color, this is a lithe and energetic vintage with lifted aromatics and a purity of fruit that lights up the medium-bodied tannin structure. The nose promises fresh black fruits, cherries and a touch of graphite, and the palate completely delivers. Juicy blackberry, plum, and bright cherry explode in the mouth, and develop into savory notes of baked black fruit and fresh pencil shavings on the mid-palate.
Eagle Summit Vineyard’s signature eucalyptus appears on the back palate to brighten the fruit, showing fragrant peppermint and warm, toasty spices through the finish. Whether you open it young or wait a few decades, this vintage does Howell Mountain proud--sophisticated and smart, with a rustic wild side.
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged in 100% French oak (86% new)
• 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
• Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
• unfined and unfiltered
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet aged 20 months in 86% new French oak, with the typical suspects in terms of cooperage – Darnajou, Taransaud, and Remond. This opaque purple-colored wine has plenty of mulberry and blackcurrant fruit along with hints of blackberries, camphor and incense. The are some notes of unsmoked cigar and licorice as well. Ripe, medium to full-bodied and luscious, it is a classic to drink over the next 15 or more years. - RP"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #228, December 2016), 90 pts
Made from 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Franc
Vineyard: This vintage was sourced exclusively from the sloping, sandy soils of the famed Conner Lee Vineyard. Conner Lee is a cool site in a warm, sunny region of Washington. In this eastern Washington desert, the hot summer ripens the fruit, while the diurnal temperatures keep the acids high and the pH low. Buty has bottled a blend of merlot & cabernet franc since 2000, our inaugural vintage.
Winemaking: We hand-sorted and destemmed with gravity transfer to tank,
which allowed us to preserve the fruit's abundant aromatics. We aerated during fermentation in wood tanks for two weeks and selected only free-run wine to blend. The wines were aged 15 months in Taransaud and Bel Air French Château barrels, one-third of which were new, with minimal racking.
Tasting Notes: While the majority of this blend is merlot, the intensity of the
cabernet franc in is amazing. Not only does it add a vivid floral component to the wine, but it brings a rare blueberry note that underscores the dark berry and jam aromas of the merlot. New oak aging for select lots contributes citrus and cinnamon spice layers, with cool vintage acidity adding poise and precision. The mid-palate is juicy and rich, with plush tannins that lead to a long, sophisticated finish, with hints of blackberry, brioche and spice.
"Supple, broad and expressive, layering rose petal–accented cherry and plum flavors against powdery tannins, finishing with sleekness and harmony. Drink now through 2024.—H.S"
- Wine Spectator's Insider (October 5th 2016), 92 pts
The Buty Winery Estate
Pronounced "Beauty", Buty winery was founded in 2000 by owners Caleb Foster and Nina Buty, inspired by a decade of vintages from Washington and overseas. An artisan producer, Buty creates vineyard designated chardonnay, a crisp white blend and nuanced red blends—including Rediviva, Washington’s pioneering blend of syrah and cabernet sauvignon. The Rediviva of the Stones will be grown from the 2008 plantings at Rockgarden, their organic Estate vineyard in the cobblestones of Walla Walla.
Since the spring of 2001 they have worked with Californian consultant Zelma Long. Zelma’s multiple decades of worldwide winegrowing and winemaking offer a great breadth of wine and vine knowledge and a “whole business” perspective to Buty.
The philosophy of winegrowing and winemaking at Buty is one of balance, artisanship and enjoyment, as we aim to capture the essence of the grape in bottle.
The Buty Winery Vineyard
Caleb and Nina purchased 10 acres of apple orchard in Milton-Freewater in late 2006. In 2008, they organically prepared and planted Buty’s Estate, Rockgarden. The famous cobblestones section of the Walla Walla Valley appellation is located in the southeast part of the valley. In the 5% highest elevation of the cobblestones, this Grand Cru section has been the most prized farming section since the Walla Walla Valley was settled over one hundred years ago. Grand Cru is defined and set apart from its neighbors by location, history and consistently superior wines. We waited years to buy only here. Anywhere else further out in the cobblestones would have been a compromise. Developing the Estate with one wine in mind—the Rediviva of the Stones—we have densely planted clones of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, grenache, mourvèdre, marsanne and roussanne.
The Columbia Valley Appellation wines are sourced from six great estate grown vineyards. Caleb’s experience making wine from Champoux and Conner Lee Vineyards spans 16 vintages since 1992. All winegrowing stages are all maintained to Buty’s specific goals from pruning to shoot positioning, prevéraison cluster thinning, water and pest management, and the day and the time of harvest. They exclusively harvest by hand and hand berry sort on a shaker table before fermentation.
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Ossian Quintaluna Verdejo is made from 100% Verdejo
Quintaluna is a young wine that is made exclusively from Verdejo in the province of Segovia. 60% is very old grape: pre-phylloxera (ungrafted). 40% is made of very young grapes on trellises, grown certified organic, with low yields. The key to success for the Verdejo grape is held in the soil. Ideal soil has a high content of sand and pebbles of different sizes. Some have higher proportions of clay and others have significant proportions of clay and limestone. As the pebbles and sand allow for good drainage, the clay holds enough moisture to allow the vines to thrive.
The color is a straw yellow with greenish reflections. On the nose, you will find aromas of white flowers, stone fruit (peach), and citrus (lemon, mandarin). It also displays tropical fruit aromas. The palate is complex. Natural acidity is evident in the freshness and length on the palate. Almond and ripe fruit flavors are found in the mid-palate with fresh grass and citrus on the finish.
It pairs wells with all kinds of appetizers, entrees and salads.
"Light, bright straw. Fresh pear, orange pith and a suggestion of pungent flowers on the powerfully scented nose, along with a building mineral nuance. Juicy and incisive in the mouth, offering Meyer lemon, pear and quince flavors accented by a spicy ginger flourish. Silky and focused on the finish, which shows powerful floral lift, minerally cut and impressive persistence. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2021), 92 pts