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.
Offering a distinctive wine each vintage, the 2015 Ne Cede Malis is unctuous and full-bodied with stunning concentration and incredible depth. The wine reveals layers of dark blackberry, beautiful blueberry compote and black plum, enhanced by savory nuances of delicate dried herbs, white pepper, roasted coffee, dark cocoa nib and black licorice. This single block blend is powerful and full of rich velvety mouthcoating tannins which highlight the age and character of the oldest vines on the Stags’ Leap estate. Secondary notes of lavender, violet and cedar lead to an extraordinary lengthy finish with plushness and opulence. Inviting in its youth but also meant for age-worthiness, decanting is suggested to allow the flavors to evolve and reveal their complexity and elegance.
Sourced from the oldest block on our Estate with vines planted in 1929, the wine is predominantly Petite Sirah, though it includes at least 15 other varietals in small amounts. Year after year this gracefully aging block produces a small lot of wine – a truly unique field blend that simply could not be produced anywhere else.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage resulted in a less abundant crop, but the quality remained exceptional. The mild, dry spring conditions promoted an early bud-break and minimal heat during summer allowed the fruit to ripen at a steady pace through picking, which began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor, making the overall season ideal for producing a Petite Sirah of wonderful quality.
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 single block 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 and helps enhance the strength and depth of this powerful variety.
Varietal Composition: 85% Petite Sirah, 15% Other Varietals
Cases Produced: 810