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.
Reflective of its cool climate vineyards, this Napa Valley Chardonnay shows generous lemon meringue, crisp pear, tart stone fruit and honeysuckle. The wonderful lemon fruit intensity is balanced by pleasant undertones of light smoke and almond skin, and this Chardonnay remains vibrant and crisp throughout with its bright minerality and natural acidity.
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.
The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. With no surprises throughout the growing season, temperatures were consistently favorable and even, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. The overall dry season made for an early and condensed harvest, and was ideal for producing a bright and fresh Chardonnay.
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