While famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags’ Leap Winery has also gained high acclaim for its Petite Sirah. The intriguing varietal was planted on the property before the winery was established in 1893, and today it remains an essential part of the Estate’s winemaking legacy. Petite Sirah has become synonymous with Stags’ Leap and for decades has cultivated devote fans of the winery.
NE CEDE MALIS (pronounced Ne KAY Day Mah LEES) comes from the Latin phrase “Don’t give in to misfortune,” the family motto of Stags’ Leap founder Horace Chase.
"An amazing effort, it boasts an opaque color, incredible levels of extract and richness, abundant notes of pen ink, blackberries, pepper, charcuterie, bouquet garni, licorice, a touch of truffles, thrilling levels of fruit, massive body, and a colossal finish of close to 45 seconds. Amazingly, this 2010 is still an infant in terms of development, but it is so impressive, rich and well-balanced that it is difficult to ignore. It should be drinking beautifully 30 years from now." - Robert Parker, October 2013
"This noted Napa producer has excelled at Petite Sirah for a long time, and with the impressive 2010, they've out-done themselves. The wine comes from a vineyard block, said to be more than 70 years of age, that contains other varieties, such as Carignane, Grenache and Syrah. Thus, it's a field blend of the type that Italian-American vintners produced throughout much of the 20th century. Dry and tannic, with wild berry, currant, licorice, tobacco and oak flavors, the wine is wonderful now, and should develop bottle complexities until 2034. Cellar Selection." - Steve Heimoff, April 2014
"The 2010 Petite Sirah Estate Ne Cede Malis emerges from the estate's oldest block, which was planted in 1929 with a Petite Sirah-based field blend on St. George rootstock. Exotic blue/purplish fruit, licorice, spices and menthol literally jump from the glass in a layered, expressive wine bursting with character. Ne Cede Malis is 85% Petite Sirah and 15% mixed blacks aged in American oak, 25% new. It is the most distinctive and compelling wine I have tasted from Stags' Leap Winery in some time. Hopefully the 2010 is a sign of where things are headed." - Antonio Galloni, November 2013
"It feels like you can chew on this wine, as if the tannins were blueberry skins and blackberry seeds, lending flavor to the fruit at its core. The texture is fleshy and round, the size of it huge but not heavy. The structure suggests a firm foundation for aging ten years or more." - Josh Greene, April 2013
This compelling one-of-a-kind Petite Sirah-based field blend is rich and nuanced with powerful flavors of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, cassis, mocha and toffee. The juicy fruit flavors come together with notes of white pepper, floral and flint and the wine shows all the concentration and elegance for which our signature Petite Sirah is known, but is well-balanced with refined tannins.
Sourced from the oldest block on our Estate with vines planted in 1929, the wine is predominantly Petite Sirah, though it includes at least 16 other varietals in small amounts. Year after year this gracefully aging vineyard produces a small lot of wine – a truly unique field blend that simply could not be produced anywhere else.
The 2010 growing season was long and mild with ideal temperatures for full development of great aromatic freshness and rich, soft tannins. Rainfall returned to Napa Valley after three dry years, lengthening each stage of growth -- bud break, flowering and fruit-set -- by nearly two weeks. The relatively cool growing season coupled with the unexpected heat spikes in late summer made for a shortened harvest, but the resulting lower yield of Petite Sirah lots were concentrated and powerful.
Taking a minimalist approach Winemaker Christophe Paubert likes to say that he “guides” rather than “makes” Ne Cede Malis. The carefully tended head trained vines in this 5-acre plot include Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mourvedre, Grenache, Peloursin, Syrah and even Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc among others. After hand picking, the grapes were co-fermented, undergoing a short maceration prior to aging in American oak barrels (25% new) for 12 months. After years of experimentation, American oak became the obvious barrel choice for Ne Cede Malis. The oak’s spiciness, which could overwhelm a delicate wine, is easily handled by and helps enhance the strength and depth of this powerful varietal.
Varietal Composition: 85% Petite Sirah, 15% Other Varietals