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