The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is deep and dense, showing a heady bouquet of dark plum, blackberry and hints of vanilla and cinnamon spice which continues through on the palate with beautiful dark berry and cassis, giving this Cabernet a classic elegance and feel. Seamlessly integrated oak and refined tannins provide a silky texture while the bright, fresh, dark blackberry fruit flavors and hints of black pepper, cocoa nib and coffee with a slight savory-ness on the finish, balance the wine’s impressive concentration.
Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with Napa Valley and has always been a mainstay in the winemaking program at Stags’ Leap Winery. Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a combination of estate fruit and grapes from select Napa Valley growers with a focus on sourcing from the valley floor. Winemaker Christophe Paubert selects fruit that is similar in expression to the grapes from the Stags’ Leap estate, avoiding fruit from areas he considers to be too warm and instead sourcing grapes from the southern part of Napa Valley, where the climate is cooler. This strategic sourcing ensures the focus and character for which Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignons are known.
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 bud break and verasion, harvest was unusually early in 2014. Despite this, the overall dry season was ideal for producing a fresh Cabernet Sauvignon of wonderful quality.
The first several weeks of a wine’s life are crucial. While the handpicked grapes for this wine were undergoing fermentation and maceration, Christophe and his team tasted and tested each lot daily to determine the pump overs regime, how much air the wine needed, and the best temperature to optimize maceration and extraction. After pressing off the skins, 37% of the wine went into new French oak barrels while the remainder went to seasoned French oak; this combination preserves freshness and gives the fruit more room to express itself. The wine aged for 20 months prior to bottling.