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 of minimal intervention, 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.
Distinct aromas of lemon zest, tart white peach and crisp pear show generously in this refreshing and focused cool-climate Chardonnay. On the palate, vibrant citrus fruit flavors are balanced by a wet stone core and pleasant undertones of light smoke. Driven by wonderful fruit intensity, lasting lemon minerality and bright acidity, the 2012 vintage walks the ideal line between delicacy and weight.
The grapes for the Napa Valley Chardonnay were sourced from southern Napa, where fog from the San Pablo Bay helps to cool the vineyards throughout the growing season, allowing for ideal preservation of acidity. 67% of the fruit comes from the Carneros AVA, with the remaining 33% from the Oak Knoll AVA. These vineyards consistently produce Chardonnay ideal for our style of winemaking with crisp fruit flavors and bright acidity.
Acclaimed for its “perfect” growing season, the 2012 vintage will be remembered for its abundance of high-quality fruit. The season began with exceptional, moderate weather that brought virtually no harm to the grapes all the way through fruit-set, and the long, mild days continued well into the summer. A cooler-than-normal period hit at the end of September, which allowed for the preservation of ideal fruit aromatics, freshness and natural acidity.
The grapes for the Napa Valley Chardonnay were handpicked and gently whole cluster pressed. In order to preserve the fresh floral aromatics, 25% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel and remained in tank until the final blend was assembled. The winemaking hand remains light with 25% of the wine fermented and aged in new French oak barrels and the remaining 50% in seasoned French oak. This specific barrel treatment helps preserve the essential purity of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity. The 2014 vintage, as usual, did not undergo malolactic fermentation to further maintain the fruit’s natural acidity and aromatic freshness. The wine was bottled after just six months of maturation with a weekly batonnage, putting the yeast lees in suspension in order to release subtle aromatics, increase the mouth feel and prevent reduction.
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay