The Stags’ Leap Winery was founded by the Chase family in 1893, and within two years they were making more than 40,000 gallons of wine. They named the winery after a Wappo American Indian legend that told of a stag leaping across the nearby Palisades Mountain as it eluded a group of hunters.
One of the oldest wine estates along the southern end of the Napa Valley, it has more than 240 acres, with 90 acres planted. If you know this appellation, you understand how many excellent Cabernet Sauvignon wines come from this AVA.
The Stags’ Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent example of Cab from the Stags’ Leap District. The blend of this wine is 90 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 4 percent Petite Sirah, 4 percent Cabernet Franc and 2 percent Petit Verdot. According to winemaker Christophe Paubert, “The Cabernet Sauvignon has black currant, cherry and blueberry aromatics which remain distinctly bright in this inviting wine. The palate offers a layered complexity of forest floor, savory herbs and sweet tobacco that seamlessly blends with the vibrant red fruit. Persistent tannins frame a round, full structure and soft, fresh finish.” This wine retails for $54.
The Stags’ Leap Winery Petite Sirah has a blend of 77 percent Petite Sirah estate-grown, 12 percent Syrah, 6 percent Grenache, 2 percent Carignane, 2 percent Mourvedre and 1 percent Viognier. The wine is aged in oak barrels for 12 to 14 months. Paubert says “this elegant Petite Sirah is scanted with the varietal’s signature trio of black fruit, floral and spicy characteristics. Fresh juicy flavors of blackberry and blueberry are complemented by generous spice notes of clove and pepper with a subtle hint of rose petal. Refined and supple tannins balance the wine’s powerful palate, keeping this Petite Sirah particularly graceful.” It retails for $39.
You can order or find Stags’ Leap Winery wines at Acme Fresh Markets, Buehler’s Fresh Foods, Fisher’s Foods, Papa Joe’s, West Point Market, Regency Wines, Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Hudson Wine Imports and 750ml or your favorite wine retailer in the Greater Akron area.
Cabernet Sauvignon is remarkable for its wide range of structure (from relatively “light bodied” to the most “full bodied”) and age-worthiness. The most coveted renditions come from France’s Bordeaux region and California’s Napa Valley.
/ Rick Rodger is a manager at Heidelberg Distributing Company.