Clif Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap is made from 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot.
The fruit was sourced from the hillside terraces of our Poetry Vineyard, our Twin Peaks Vineyard estate surrounding the winery, and a few neighboring vineyards in the Stags Leap District. The wine is composed of small lots from our best blocks, representing a diverse range of carefully selected clones and rootstocks. From Poetry’s exposed, rocky terraces boasting volcanic origins, to the ancient riverbed alluvial soils of Twin Peaks, the breadth of contributing sites translates into a wine of impressive complexity.
Grapes were picked in the darkness of the early morning hours. The freshly-harvested fruit immediately underwent rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process, which included our cutting-edge optical sorter. Whole berries were gently delivered by gravity to tank using our crane system, minimizing disruption of berry integrity. Cold soaks lasted approximately seven days, and fermentations were managed via a combination of délestage, pumpovers, and punchdowns. Extended maceration ranging from four to five weeks fine-tuned our tannin profiles, allowing us to perfect mouth feel and wine complexity. The wine was aged in French oak barrels, 38% of which were new, for twenty-one months.
This wine substantially overdelivers on its price point, presenting a dark fruit profile, generous tannin and oak, and an expansive full-bodied style. Blended with 8% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, it is approachable while never forgetting its structured, complex roots.
-Editors' Choice Wine Spectator 95 Points