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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

ID No: 447944
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 Wine Enthusiast: 97
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

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.


From the producer's first site that was planted in 1970, this wine is sumptuous in blackberry, fig and dark chocolate. A bright wisp of cassis shines on the midpalate, enlivening the bold, supple texture. Underlying layers of crushed rock and iron provide a welcome and intriguing minerality that highlights the finish. Best from 2027–2037.

-Wine Enthusiast 97 Points

Winery: Stags Leap Winery

1872 - A Vineyard is Born After decades of being owned by a multitude of owners - via Mexican land grants (Yajome Rancho), homesteading, a bounty award, and patents - the Grigsby family consolidated a 700-acre parcel where the current Stags' Leap estate resides today. The Grigsbys planted grapes on the land in 1872 and 13 years later they transferred the land to W.W. Thompson and H.H. Harris (Napa County Sheriff). The next year Mr. Harris conveyed his interest in the property to Thompson’s nephew, Horace Blanchard Chase.

1886-1909: The Chase/Mizner Era In the late 1880s, Horace Chase, an eligible bachelor from Chicago, and Mary Ysabela “Minnie” Mizner, belle of society in the former state capital of Benicia, met at Napa Soda Springs Resort in the hills outside Napa. They fell in love and were married in 1888 at the Benicia home of Minnie’s father who had served as California State Senator for two terms in the 1860s and who later became an ambassador to Latin American countries. Shortly thereafter Horace and his uncle divided their 700 acre tract into two parcels and Horace became sole owner of the northwestern 365 acres. The Chases were known for their lavish hospitality and, in season, hosted the scions of San Francisco society during an era of great wealth stemming from gold and silver mining. During the winter, the Chases left Stags’ Leap and spent their winters in San Francisco attending opera, theater, receptions, Cotillion Club dances, and hunt balls at the Palace Hotel.

1913-1956: The Grange Era In 1913 the property was purchased by Clarence and Frances Grange who were prominent members of San Francisco society. Clarence, an ex-Chicagoan, was an heir to the Grange Farm Equipment Company fortune; and he and Frances wanted to have a country home in Napa so that they could entertain their socialite friends. The Granges moved in the Manor House with their two children, where they lived until 1956. The Granges lived in the Manor House year ‘round; and, while they did not intend to make wine, the vineyards remained in production. After Clarence had a severe accident with a horse, most of the responsibilities of running the property fell to Frances. With Clarence unable to work, Frances created an upscale destination resort, Stags' Leap Manor, which became known as one of the most prominent resorts in Napa Valley at the time. Tales of ghosts, mummies, mischievous monkeys, and “shady” dealings at Stags Leap Manor abound.

1956 - Between Grange and Doumani Eras Following the deaths of Frances and Fred Grange, the property was sold in 1956. The next two owners let the Manor House decay into an uninhabitable state, particularly the wooden additions made by Frances Grange. The owners, unable to keep up the property, asked Napa County for tax relief and, at the suggestion of the tax assessor, boarded up the building and turned off the power and water so that the county would charge taxes on the property only and not on the structures. Rumors abound that hippies squatted on the property during that time, and long time Napa residents tell of breaking into the house to party on weekends. In 1958 the movie “This Earth is Mine”, funded by the Napa Valley wine industry, was filmed at Stags’ Leap.

1970-1996: The Doumani Era In 1970, Carl Doumani and his wife Joanne purchased a portion of the property. Doumani was a Los Angeles restaurateur, builder, and wholesaler who first came to Napa Valley on a trip gifted by friends. Intrigued by the setting, history, and privacy of the area, Doumani purchased the property and began a vast nine year restoration project. In addition to preserving most of the original stonework of the Manor House, Doumani restored the Stone Winery, Cottage, and grounds. During this time, the vineyards were also restored and winemaking resumed under the Stags’ Leap Winery label. Under Doumani's ownership, the winery went from being a small operation in which he often wore many hats to a fully staffed 85,000 case winery with a solid reputation for excellent and a cult following for its Petite Sirah.

1996 - The Treasury Wine Estates Era In late 1996 Carl Doumani sold the property to Beringer, now Treasury Wine Estates. Shortly after, construction began on a 28,000 sq. foot wine cave in the volcanic rhyolite rock of the Stags Leap Palisades. The new cave is a companion to the original cave built in 1893, but it is much larger at almost 700 feet deep with 17 cross areas and room for 7,000 barrels. At the same time, Robert Brittan and landscape designer Jonathan Plant developed the Apothecary and Sensory Garden, building it on the existing kitchen garden on the north side of the Manor House. A majority of the plants cultivated there evoke aromas and flavors of wines made on the estate. With the restored buildings, pastoral setting, and top-of-the-line winemaking facilities, Stags' Leap is one of the most charming and high-quality wineries to visit in Napa Valley.

Stags' Leap Estate Vineyard On one of California’s earliest wine estates, a unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago. An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap is a 240-acre estate, of which 85-acres are planted with grape vines.

The Terroir The rock outcropping that forms the eastern boundary of the estate, the Stags Leap Palisades, sheds debris in the form of volcanic rhyolite and tuff, which is carried to the valley floor where it mingles with the deeper subsoil made up of Bale loam formed from ancient river sediment. Topographically, the slope of the palisades and its small valley are oriented to block early morning sun, retain afternoon heat, and funnel cooler marine air coming from the San Pablo Bay to the south.

Stags Leap District This combination of Napa Valley’s extended growing season with the accentuated warmth and cooling of the Stags Leap District results in an ideal balance of acid and sugar in the fruit. The wine grapes are given time to mature and develop their characteristic soft texture and intense flavors.

Heritage Vines In the 1980s, the winery undertook DNA testing to uncover the identities and possible sources of heritage vines on the property, especially the 1930s field blend planting of Petite Sirah and other Rhône varieties in the Ne Cede Malis block. The results have been used to graft new vines and were contributed to the research being conducted by UC Davis on the origin of the Petite Sirah variety. Today, the carefully tended head-trained and dry-farmed vines in this 5-acre plot continue the legacy and heritage of this vineyard as it was in the late 1800s.

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