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.
Stags Leap Winery: A 125
Whereas the current owners of Stags Leap talk about this being its 125th anniversary of winemaking, that wine has not been made on the property continuously for 125 years, although grapes may have been grown and sold during that time.
The first wine made on the property was in 1893, when then-owner Horace Chase, a Chicago businessman, built a summer home and winery. Twenty years later, the Chase ranch was sold.
Prohibition ended winery operations, and the property continued to evolve, functioning at times as a speakeasy, a hotel, a post office and a retreat for U.S. Navy officers during World War II.
Later, its renovated grounds could be seen on the TV show Falcon Crest and in movies such as Disneys 1906 Pollyanna and the 1991 film Dying Young that starred Julia Roberts.
But before the Hollywood crews arrived, the entire site needed to be renovated.
The Stags Leap Manor had been boarded up and abandoned 13 years before I bought the property in 1970, Doumani said. Originally, our intention was to reopen it as an inn, but wed always known wed also make wine as a way to keep the long tradition alive.
According to Doumani, he paid $525,000 for the property, which might have seemed expensive at the time but in hindsight seems a steal for 400 acres of historic Napa Valley land, 120 of which had been planted in vineyards, a manor house and half a dozen outbuildings and a hand-dug wine cave that dated back to the late 1800s. But there was work to be done.
Whether Last Years Fires That Ravaged Large Parts Of Northern California Will Have Any Long
A winemaker doesnt expect to travel to work in a full police escort with lights flashing, but in the second week of October last year thats exactly what Marcus Notaro and his team at Stags Leap Wine Cellars had to face to get to their vines.
Wildfires ravished large swathes of Napa Valley and Sonoma County killing 44 people, injuring over 190 and destroying or severely damaging over 30 wineries and many residential homes.
Contrary to some reports it was the nearby Stags Leap Winery that had several outbuildings burn to the ground and not Stags Leap Wine Cellars where, for Notaro and his team, the fires mercifully stopped just short of the edge of the property and the two vineyards Fay and SLV. They lost some end posts and an irrigation line but, apart from that, this iconic winery was mercifully saved.
We were largely unscathed, Marcus Notaro tells me, the biggest difficulty for us was losing access to the winery, a power line, the cell phone towers we lost communication. We spent a lot of time in Starbucks using their WiFi. They were crazy times. The fire burnt right down to the vineyards.
As to whether there will be any long-term effects, Notaro thinks that only time will tell.
With the 2017/18 vintage it is too soon to know. We had very little fruit hanging out. But we need to see if it will have any effect on growth. Bud break has not happened yet so we need to see whether the end-vines will bud out, grow new tendrils or not.
How to get old gracefully
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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
|Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars|
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is a winery founded by Warren Winiarski in 1970 and based in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, California. The winery was sold to a joint venture by Chateau Ste. Michelle of Woodinville, Washington, and of Italy for $185;million in August 2007. It is 50% owned by the tobacco/food conglomerate Altria.
Stags Leap Sold For $185 Million
Stags Leap Wine Cellars, the Napa Valley winery that played an instrumental role in the ascent of the American wine industry, has been sold for $185 million to a partnership of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates of Washington State and of Tuscany.
Stags Leap may be best known for its intense cabernet sauvignons, like Cask 23 and its two single-vineyard wines, S.L.V. and Fay, but its formative moment came back in 1976 when its 1973 cabernet was selected as the top bottle in a blind tasting of French and American wines. The tasting, which has come to be remembered as the Judgment of Paris, helped the American wine industry gain credibility around the world and propelled Stags Leap into an ascendant position in Napa Valley for 20 years.
While Stags Leaps fame has been eclipsed in recent years by an obsession with cult cabernets and newer brands, it gained renewed attention in 2005 with the publication of the book Judgment of Paris: California vs. France and the Historic 1976 Tasting That Revolutionized Wine, by George M. Taber. That book has spawned two different movie scripts, one based on the book and one independent effort.
If I was going to live forever I would be unhappy, said Warren Winiarski, the founder of Stags Leap, who will be 79 in October. Its kind of like marrying off a child. Something is lost but something is gained as well.
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Stags Leap Wine Cellars Napa Cabernets With A Celebrated History
Visit Stags Leap Wine Cellars for its celebrated history and archetypal Napa Valley Cabernets.
Winiarskis influence on the Californian wine industry and Napa Valley in particular has been profound. The Hands of Time wall at the winery is whos who of Napa Valley: people who have worked at Stags Leap in various capacities throughout the years are continuing to shape the Napa Valley wine industry today. John Williams, the founder of Frogs Leap; Michael Silacci, the winemaker at Opus One; and Rolando Herrera, who made wine at Chateau Potelle and Paul Hobbs and now owns Mi Sueno winery, have all worked here.;
Warren Winiarskis legacy is so significant that the bottle of his 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon, the Judgment of Paris winner, is exhibited in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
The Hands of Time wall at Stags Leap
Curiously, I couldnt find Winiarskis name anywhere on the winerys website. Could it be because of some legal issues related to the change of ownership? In 2007, Winiarski sold the winery to Chateau Ste. Michelle and Marchesi Antinori .
5766 Silverado Trail, Napa. Open daily 10 am 4:30 pm. Several tasting and tour options are available.
Why Is It Called Stags Leap
The founder of Stags Leap Wine Cellars first tastes with Nathan Fay, whose scenic vineyard below the rocky promontory of the Stags Leap Palisades, so named because of the legend of the stag who successfully eluded hunters by leaping to freedom across the districts landmark peaks, was the first planting of Cabernet
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Stags Leap Wine Cellars: The Wines Of The Past Present And Future
August 8, 2015 by Cori Solomon
One of the beauties of wine is its ability to age and develop over time. For a wine writer, it is a delight when a winery offers to let you explore some of there oldies and in the case of wine goodies. The best way to observe this maturity and development is a vertical wine tasting. This type of tasting highlighted a wine tasting entitled The Art of Aging, presented by Stags Leap Wine Cellars.
This recent wine tasting featured three vintages of each the Fay, S.L.V., and Cask 23. All three are iconic wines that have played an important part in the history of Napa and the California wine industry. It began when Nathan Fay, a grape grower, planted in 1961 the Fay Vineyard in what is now known as the Stags Leap District.
Stags Leap Wine Cellars The Art of Aging Wine Tasting
Leaping Ahead: Stags Leap Wine Cellars A Cult
Iconic, legendary, finest, complex, cult wine, timeless, powerful, poised, sumptuous, sensuous, magnificent, trophy-winning, top scoring, a benchmark wine…
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. How better to experience this first growth of Napa Valley than by armchair travelling through the contents of your wine glass. This is the ORIGINAL Californian cult wine!
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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.
The Man Behind The Wine Marcus Notaro
It has been said, jokingly, that Notaro is the wine nerds best nerdiest friend immensely knowledgeable, possessing a clear philosophy, and keen to talk at length about the tiniest detail of his wines, vineyards and the thinking that goes behind what are some of the worlds best examples of Cabernet Sauvignon. Luckily for all who drink his SLWC wines, we are happy to embrace his wine nerdiness.
Prior to joining the Napa winery as head winemaker in 2013, Notaro was making Cabernet Sauvignon for nine years at Col Solare in the Red Mountain appellation of Washington State where his style of winemaking was very much akin to that of Stags Leap uniting Old World traditions with New World innovations.
It is Notaros skills and that of his winemaking and viticultural teams that keeps SLWC at the pinnacle of the worlds top Cabernet producers. Not to mention their resilience to affront earthquakes , fires and COVID-19 to protect this seriously prime bit of first growth real estate in Napa Valley.
In 2007 the SLWC legacy was handed over from trailblazing Winiarski to a partnership of Washington State Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Tuscanys winemaking dynasty Marchesi Piero Antinori.
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Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23
You might say the Piece de Resistance was the Cask 23, which is an extraordinary wine created when the winemaker deems the grapes from Fay and S.L.V. are the most exceptional and finest. We started with the 1979 Cask 23. It was amazing to see how bright and together this wine was for its age. This year was considered a cool vintage for Napa. Since Fay was not a part of Stags Leap Wine Cellars, this wine consists of a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot from S.L.V. only. The elegance of this softer silkier wine was unbelievable and shows the strength and longevity of the Stags Leap Wine Cellars brand. It was the ultimate expression of S.L.V.
The 1997 Cask 23 is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot that aged 22 months in French Oak. It is bright and more intense and seems as if the grapes from Fay Vineyard softening the more masculine side of S.L.V.
With 2012 being an even growing season it can be said that the Cask 23 is an equal blend of both Fay and S.L.V. The wine aged 21 months in 95% new oak. You might say this wine perfects the yin/yang of both vineyards as the grapes from S.L.V. volcanic soils meld with those from the alluvial soils of Fay in total harmony. The wine is rich, velvety, and balanced.
Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23
Take In Stags Leap Palisades Views From Tasting Room And Patio Of Judgment Of Paris Cab Winner
The winery Warren Winiarski founded in 1970 merits a;pilgrimage for its place in wine history alone. In a blind tasting in 1976 now known as the Judgment of Paris, French wine critics rated the 1973;Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon best in its category. The judges scored it ahead of four entries from revered Bordeaux producers and five other California wines. Winiarskis;triumph, coupled;with Calistoga-based;Chateau;Montelenas win for best Chardonnay, raised the Napa Valleys profile worldwide.
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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
- This bottle of 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon wine was produced by Warren Winiarski, founder, owner, and winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, in Napa, California. It is the vintage that outranked some of France’s best Bordeaux at a blind tasting held in Paris in 1976. Organized by Steven Spurrier, an Englishman who ran a fine wine shop in Paris, the tasting involved a panel of nine experienced French judges who compared a select group of wines from France and California without benefit of knowing which was which. When the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon placed first, the judges were astonished, and the rest of the wine world took notice.
- The “Judgment of Paris” had a huge impact on the California and U.S. wine industry. It crushed the widely-held belief that only the French could make premium wine and inspired American vintners to expand their operations. The aftermath of the tasting played out most vigorously in California, where, between 1975 and 2004, the number of wineries grew from 330 to 1,689. By 2004, California accounted for most of the $643 million in annual U.S. wine exports.
- Object Name
Stags Leap Winery One Valuable Apostrophe
- Tim Carl
Stags Leap Winerys Ne Cede Malis Vineyard, shown in its fall color, is thought to have been planted in 1929 and contains up to 15 different types of grapes that make up the Ne Cede Malis red blend. The winery is hidden in the trees at the far right of the picture.
- TIM CARL PHOTOGRAPHY
Guests gather during a wine event at Stags Leap Winery. The manor houses stone turret has been seen in TV shows such as Falcon Crest and in movies such as Disneys 1960 Pollyanna and the 1991 film Dying Young, starring Julia Roberts.
- TIM CARL PHOTOGRAPHY
Christophe Pauber, Stags Leap Winerys senior winemaker.
- TIM CARL PHOTOGRAPHY
A bill of sale showing that 1954 Stags Leap Winery Zinfandel grapes cost $55 a ton. Today that same ton of Zinfandel would cost about $3,700. The collection of artifacts includes references to earlier wine labels, a post office and freshly crushed grape juice that was served when the manor house was being used as a country retreat in 1937.
- TIM CARL PHOTOGRAPHY
Stags Leap Winery, located in the Stags Leap District American Viticultural Area is not far away from the similarly named Stags Leap Wine Cellars, which produced the most famous Stags Leap wine that youve probably ever heard of the Cabernet Sauvignon that won the famous Paris Tasting in 1976. But whos who and how can a name Stags Leap be used in so many ways? And whats the deal with the shifting apostrophe?
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Judgment Of Paris 45th Anniversary Slv Tasting
Stags Leap Wine Cellars stunned the world in 45 years ago when our 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of Bordeauxs first-growth wines at the Judgment of Paris blind tasting. To commemorate this occasion, we are offering an exclusive flight of four vintages of our S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon to show the evolution of this iconic wine. The experience is $125 per person. A cheese and charcuterie plate is available Wednesday through Sunday for $25 per person.
Ne Cede Malis Vineyard
The vineyard that Doumani kept remains today, still with its twisted and gnarled head-trained vines that he thought were just too beautiful and historic to be discarded. Today, the vineyard is referred to as Ne Cede Malis, a Latin phrase found etched in one of the manors stained-glass tasting-room windows.
The full phrase, Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito, originated from the Roman poet Virgil. The oft-quoted admonition is translated into English as Yield not to misfortunes , but advance all the more boldly against them.
But as is the case of all epic tales, the hero must first complete a series of difficult tasks before achieving his quest. Prior to the journey, Aeneas consults with an oracle, the Sibyl, where he learns hell need a golden tree bough to gain safe access into the dark and dangerous netherworld. Aided by his mother, Venus, the hero finds the golden branch and is able to cross the Stygian river and enter the underworld. Avoiding a three-headed dog and many tortured souls, Aeneas eventually speaks to his ghost-like father, who tells him of Romes grand future.
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Stags Leap Wine Cellars Slv
Moving on to the S.L.V., the 1996 vintage was more challenging due to weather conditions, and the crop was smaller. The wine was a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petite Verdot that was aged 20 months in French Oak. The result today was an earthy wine with flavors of black current, raisins, leather, and cocoa.
The 2008 S.L.V. represents the first release of what might be called the second chapter in the life of Stags Leaps Wine Cellars. It is the 35th vintage and the first under the union of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and the Antinori Family of Tuscany. This vintage was also more challenging because there was a late frost followed by a heatwave. This vintage also includes one of the original blocks planted in 1972. The wine aged 24 months in 87% new French oak. From the wines sample, this vintage was bigger and velvety with flavors of dark fruit, blackberry, and hints of spice. The wine was very together.
The final S.L.V. was the 2012, a wine perfumed with Lavender aromas and dark fruit bringing forth a marvelous richness and vibrancy. It is a wine that makes a big statement. It aged 21 months in 100% new French oak.
Stags Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V.