Theres A Bottle Of Slwc Wine In The Smithsonian
In 2013, the Smithsonian Institution named the Paris-Judgement-winning 1973 S.L.V Cabernet as one of the Objects that Made America. One of the final remaining bottles of the wine is housed in the institutions National Museum of American History in Washington, D. C. The exhibit is a lasting reminder of Winiarski and Stags Leap Wine Cellars continued influence on the fame of the American wine industry.
Stags Leap District Is Named For An Actual Stag
The region gets its name from a popular local legend that tells of a stag eluding hunters by leaping to freedom across the districts landmark peaks.
The valley within the valley is home to some of Napas most famous vineyards.
Enclosed by the Stags Leap Palisades to the east, and rolling hills and the Napa River to the west, Stags Leap District is occasionally described as the valley within the valley.
The district is home to some 17 wineries, including some of Napas most celebrated Shafer Vineyards, Chimney Rock, and Clos du Val as well as 12 different grape growers. Cabernet Sauvignon comprises the bulk of production these wines are often described as being concentrated but elegant, like an iron fist in a velvet glove.
Stags Leap Put Napa Cab On The Map
Stags Leap Wine Cellars was founded by Warren Winiarski in 1970. The winerys first release, the 1973 Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, would go on to beat world-famous reds produced by first-growth Bordeaux châteaux like Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion at the 1976 Judgement of Paris.
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Its Victory Started A String Of Legal Battles
Demand for Winiarskis wines surged after the blind tasting, as did confusion. Many incorrectly believed that neighboring vineyard Stags Leap Winery had produced the winning wine, as the names are remarkably similar.
Winiarski started a legal battle with Stags Leap owner Carl Doumani. It went all the way to the California Supreme Court in 1986, which decided that both wineries had a right to use the name. To help differentiate between the two, Stags Leap would use the apostrophe before the S, and Stags Leap would use the apostrophe after the S.
The frosty neighborly relations eventually thawed and, at the end of the 1980s, the two producers combined to fight against the creation of an official Stags Leap District AVA. They were ultimately unsuccessfully and AVA designation was granted in 1989.
Things You Should Know About Stags Leap Wine Cellars
The world of wine is confusing for many reasons, not least of which is the nomenclature. Yet few linguistic intricacies are as puzzling as the ones surrounding Stags Leap Wine Cellars , a Napa Valley producer with global impact and maddening attention to detail. The winery turned Napa Cabernet Sauvignon into a major player and was almost undone by an apostrophe.
To ensure youre putting your punctuation in the right places and drinking what you think you are here are nine things you need to know about Stags Leap Wine Cellars.
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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Warren Winiarski gave an up a promising academic career in Chicago to pursue his dream of making wine.He learnt his trade at Robert Mondavi before setting up Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in the heart of the Napa Valley in 1972. Success was instantaneous when the 1973 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon took first place over leading red Bordeaux at a major comparative tasting in Paris in 1976.
In 1986 Warren Winiarski purchased the adjoining Fay Vineyard which, in what is known today as the Stag’s Leap District Appellation, which had been planted by Nathan Fay in 1961.Cask 23, the proprietary red wine blend made only in select vintages, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stag’s Leap vineyard and the Fay Vineyards. Warren coined the descriptive phrase ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ to describe his polished but sturdy Cabernets. Winemaker Michael Silacci joined the winery in 1995, and together with assistant winemaker is producing outstandingly complex, multi layered wines that are amongst the very finest in California.
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Collection: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar
In the world of wine, superlatives and high praise are too often bandied about with almost drunken abandon. However, when you get to taste Stags Leap Wine Cellars stellar wines, you too will be ecstatically shouting out all these descriptors and more.
Considered one of the “first growths” of Napa Valley, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars produces renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards. Founded in 1970, the winery brought international recognition to California winemaking and the Napa Valley when the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won the now famous 1976 Paris Tasting, also known as the “Judgment of Paris.” Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ three estate-grown Cabernet SauvignonsCASK 23, S.L.V. and FAYare among the most highly regarded and collected Cabernet Sauvignons worldwide. The same classic style of the estate wines is expressed in the Napa Valley wines AVETA Sauvignon Blanc, KARIA Chardonnay and ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon.
- STAG’S LEAP Wine Cellars Napa Valley ‘Artemis’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
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- STAG’S LEAP Wine Cellars Napa Valley ‘FAY’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
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- STAG’S LEAP Wine Cellars Napa Valley ‘Karia’ Chardonnay 2018
- Regular price
- STAG’S LEAP Wine Cellars Napa Valley ‘Cask 23’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
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- STAG’S LEAP Wine Cellars Napa Valley ‘Aveta’ Sauvignon Blanc 2016
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Stags Leap Winenapa Valley California
Learn about Stags Leap wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more …
Legend has it that quick and nimble stags would escape the indigenous hunters of southern Napa Valley through the landmark palisades that sit just northeast of the current city of Napa. As a result, the area was given the name, Stags Leap. While its grape-growing history dates back to the mid-1800s, winemaking didnt really take off until the mid-1970s after a small but pivotal blind tasting called the Judgement of Paris.
When a 1973 Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won first place against its high-profile Bordeaux contenders, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion, international attention to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley escalated rapidly.
The vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine growing region receive hot afternoon air reflecting off of its eastern palisade formation. In combination with the cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay just south, this becomes an optimal environment for grape growing. While many varieties could thrive here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate with virtually no others, save for a spot or two of Syrah.
Stags Leap soilseroded volcanic and old river sedimentsencourage well established root systems and result in complex, terroir-driven wines. Stags Leap District reds have a distinct sour cherry and black berry character with baking spice and dried earth aromas, and supple tannins.
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Feeling Fancy Slwc Has Reserves
While the 1974 vintage was aging, Winiarski noticed that one of the casks contained a standout wine, so he released it as a premium reserve line. He named it Cask 23, after the 1,000-gallon aging vessel from which it was pulled. To this day, the winery continues to release Cask 23 from the best grapes in significant vintages.
Judgment Of Paris And Subsequent Competitions
The winery achieved significant international recognition in 1976, four years after its establishment, at the Judgment of Paris where its 1973 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon won first place among ten top French and California red wines in a blind taste test by leading French wine experts. The French wines tasted were prestigious first and second growths wines from the 1970 and 1971 vintage from Château Haut-Brion, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Leoville Las Cases and Château Montrose.
The result of the tasting has been described by as “a victory that put California on the winemaking map, and established Stags Leap Wine Cellars as a global superstar”, and by Paul Lukacs as “most important, it enabled not only the United States but also Australia, South America, and the rest of the New World to emerge as legitimate sources of increasingly superior wines.”
A bottle of 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon was placed into the Smithsonian National Museum of American History collection in 1996 as a result of placing first in this competition and to reflect the impact that the achievement had on the United States wine industry.
The San Francisco Wine Tasting of 1978 was a re-tasting of the same wines 20 months after the Paris event. Stag’s Leap again won first place with a different set of judges.
In ‘The Judgment of Paris’ 30th Anniversary tasting with the same wines and vintages tasted at the original Judgment of Paris competition, Stag’s Leap achieved second place.
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About Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Located in the Stags Leap district of Napa Valley in California, the Stags Leap Wine Cellar was established during 197o by William Winiarski. It was during this year that Winiarski purchased 44 hectares of land for cultivating vines on it. The results were great because the vines represented the unique regional flavour and character of the Napa Valley soil.
Petite Sarah and Alicante Bouschet were initially planted in small lots here, but later, they were replaced by universal varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Within 2 years of inception ,the label released its first vintage, with the name SLV . During the subsequent year, SLVs winery work got completed.
The winemaking philosophy at Stags Leap Wine Cellars is to create a perfect balance between the softness and structure of the grapes, so that the resultant wines are complex, intense and unique. The vineyards are considered to be the backbone of the wines crafted here. The SLV and Fay vineyards are part of the same estate, but they produce distinct wines because of the difference in their terroirs.
SLVs wines are classified into three broad categories Estate Collection, Napa Valley Collection and Winery Exclusives. SLVs wines are known for their high degree of authenticity. Each of the wine bottles has been assigned a bubble code security system to ensure that the seal cannot be removed at any stage.
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Where Does The Name ‘stags Leap’ Come From
The origin of the name “Stags’ Leap” is not well documented. Most common oral histories attribute it to a native Wappo legend of a stag leaping to escape hunters or leaping to its death in preference to being hunted down. Another version refers to a stag that eluded an entire generation of hunters, always leaping and vanishing at the last moment.
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The Legacy Collection Library Tasting
Cost $125 per person
Our Napa Valley Estate wines are known for their aging potential. In this tasting, rare older vintages are curated from our private cellar, aged to peak drinkability and enjoyed in your own private room. These winery-exclusives are the last of their vintages with only a very small amount of inventory left. Reservations are required for all wine tastings.
Slwc Produces Wine With An Iron Fist
Cask 23 is one of the three Estate Collection Cabernet Sauvignon wines for which SLWC is famous. The Paris-judgement-winning Stags Leap Vineyards is the second of the three, while the third, Fay Vineyard, was introduced in 1990. Each is celebrated for expressing the iron-fisted concentration of the district, which also adds to their ageability.
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Estate Wine Tasting & Cave Tour
Cost $95 per person
This unique winery tour offers guests an opportunity to see some of the most stunning views and extraordinary spaces in all of Napa Valley while learning about our historic legacy, terroir and winemaking philosophy. Offered daily at 10:00 am. Reservations are required, and group sizes are limited to maximum of ten guests.