Established in 1893, Stags’ Leap Winery is one of the oldest wine estates within the acclaimed Stags Leap District, producing wines expressive of its unique terroir. With an enduring winemaking philosophy that honors traditional techniques while embracing modern capabilities, and by using the finest grapes from our own 80-acre vineyard and from quality-focused growers, Stags’ Leap wines embody a natural balance, exhibiting both intensity and finesse, while bringing forth the inherent qualities of each variety.
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.
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 Cabernet Sauvignon of wonderful quality.
The first several weeks of a wine’s life are crucial. While the 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.