Linking this history with Stags’ Leap Winery Co-Founder Horace Chase, and his family motto, “Sed Contra Audentior Ito,” comes the fourth release of Audentia. The inimitable blend pays tribute to that motto - “Always Push Harder” - crafted from the Estate’s most select Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah vineyards that push to produce the most expressive and distinct fruit. Winemaker Christophe Paubert drew on his curiosity to capture the essence of Stags’ Leap and all of its cherished nuances, hand-selecting only the finest lots and barrels for the unique blend.
"A "super-selected Cab," the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Audentia Estate is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Petite Sirah aged in about 75% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple in color, it is profoundly scented of crushed blackberries and black currants with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, sandalwood, dried flowers and lavender with a waft of fertile soil. The medium to full- bodied palate is densely packed with black fruit, earth and spice flavor layers, supported by firm, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and complex. Consider holding it for two more years and drink it over the next 25+. 600 cases were made." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate November, 2017
Our 2014 Audentia exhibits the distinctive personality of our estate vineyard, crafting a wine of immense concentration and depth. This wine has a multilayered mouthfeel, offering incredible earthiness, as well as blackberry and bramble berry aromas on the nose, along with hints of forest floor and Fraises des Bois. On the palate, there is a beautiful balance of complexity and elegance, featuring juicy, mouthwatering blackberry and black raspberry alongside hints of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. With fine velvety tannins, this wine is unctuous, showcasing the iconic power and longevity that have become synonymous with Stags’ Leap estate wines. Drinking beautifully now and will continue to age across the next 25+ years.
The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah highlights the rich heritage of the property and natural lineage of the estate, as well as the balance of power and finesse. Notable for its distinct combination of power and elegance, Cabernet Sauvignon has a long-established history as the Stags Leap District’s signature varietal. The district’s unique location allows erosion from the Palisades to be a matchless source of its volcanic soils, acknowledged as a distinctive factor in the modern reputation for Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignons. Petite Sirah was sourced exclusively from block 9, long known as one of the winery’s highest-performing blocks that delivers each year with deep blue and red fruit we liken to Cabernet Sauvignon. The combination of the two varietals results in a blend that’s both powerful and concentrated, balanced and elegant. Special care was made in preserving purity of fruit and selecting Petite Sirah that would strengthen – not overpower – the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012 and 2013. The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start. Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early budbreak and veraison, harvest was unusually early. Despite this, the overall dry season was ideal for producing a fresh Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah of wonderful quality.
Grapes for the blend are hand-picked in the vineyard and hand-sorted at the winery and fermented in a combination of small, closed tanks and 500-liter neutral oak barrels. Additionally, the lots undergo a long, (almost month-long), maceration period which adds color, tannin and complexity of flavors.
Varietal Composition: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petite Sirah
Cases Produced: 600