Each year, winemaker Christophe Paubert finds an amusing surprise – a varietal enhanced through exceptional terroir and the unique weather of the growing season. The 2012 vintage was ideal for bright, fresh fruit aromatics and flavors that were especially exceptional in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, traditionally known as three of the five grapes used in a classic Bordeaux assemblage, and significant parts of historic blends at Stags’ Leap.
"The outstanding 2012 Proprietary Red Winemaker’s Muse boasts a deep ruby/purple hue along with notes of graphite, damp earth, truffles, white chocolate, blackcurrants and sweet dark cherries. It reveals a gorgeous texture, a plush, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and a savory, long finish. It is an impressive wine to drink over the next 7-10 years." - Robert Parker, October 2014
The 2012 Winemaker’s Muse is an instant pleasure, from the fresh, vibrant red fruit flavors and plush texture telling of the Merlot to the delicious spice and slight floral notes from the Malbec. Captivating for its lush cherry, plum and cassis flavors, this red blend has a soft allure, yet is filled with power and concentration.
The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, which makes up the majority of the blend, comes from Coombsville, Napa’s southeastern corner. The cooler terroir and unique elevation of this appellation yields some of the most concentrated and distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. The Merlot hails from a singular stretch of land, block number 20, located in the middle of the Stags’ Leap Winery estate vineyard. The fruit from this one block produces Merlot with such incredible depth and concentration that it is designated to a small estate bottling, Block 20. The Malbec grapes for this unique blend are sourced from Calistoga and St. Helena, which are especially well suited to growing this Napa Valley rarity.
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.
Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple methods to highlight each varietal’s unique characteristics in this blend. The grapes for this wine underwent a 2-week maceration period designed to pull flavor, color and tannin from the skins. The majority of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, the backbone of the Stags’ Leap portfolio, Merlot, which contributes softness and plush tannins, and Malbec for additional depth and color. The final blend includes a small amount of Petite Sirah, which reinforces the floral character of the assemblage.
Varietal Composition: 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 31% Malbec, 3% Petite Sirah