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.
This one-of-a-kind Petite Sirah-based field blend always intrigues and the 2011 vintage is abundant in black cherry, blackberry, mulberry, raspberry and vanilla bean. The richly textured, mouth-filling wine reveals well-delineated pepper and floral notes, and tannins that are powerful and dense, but utterly elegant.
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 2011 growing season began with a wet winter and spring that delayed bloom and disrupted fruit set, resulting in lower yields in many parts of Napa Valley. Cooler-than-usual temperatures continued throughout the summer season and few high heat events occurred at any point in 2011. While yields were lower, the resulting Petite Sirah grapes picked in this cooler vintage ultimately delivered quality consistent with year’s past.
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. 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