Inspired by the 2011 Winemaker's Muse bottling of Malbec, this is the sixth vintage of this winery exclusive Malbec. A significant part of historic blends at Stags' Leap, Malbec flourishes in certain areas and this wine captures the variety's powerful fruit and spicy characteristics.
The 2018 Napa Valley Malbec is deep and intriguing with fragrant notes of ripe blueberry, acai berry and blackcurrant, alongside hints of black pepper spice and delicate wild rose. The mouthfeel is plush and inviting with blackberries, raspberries and delicate floral lavender, accompanied by savory notes of allspice, graham cracker and sweet tobacco. Finishing with more intense notes of dark plum and bittersweet chocolate, this multilayered wine seamlessly weaves together fine-grained tannins and a silky sinuous texture. Indulge in the plethora of dark fruit flavors and fresh aromatics, guiding you sip, savor and repeat, enjoying the sultry depth, structure and balance of this wine.
The Napa Valley region enjoyed a stunning, near picture-perfect 2018 growing season including good winter rains, mild spring weather and steady temperatures throughout that allowed for even flowering and bud break. These ideal growing conditions were followed by a cool, even and slow-paced harvest which allowed the winery to vinify wines at a gentle pace. The resulting 2018 wines are of very high quality with lower alcohol, concentrated flavors, color and excellent acidity.
The Malbec grapes for this bottling are sourced from Oakville and the Carneros AVAs. Sourcing from these more southerly appellations within Napa Valley provide a more moderate, cooler maritime influence compared to vineyards further up valley. Here the soils are mainly gravelly silt loams, sedimentary in origin and gravelly alluvial soils with rock, moderately fertile, producing a Malbec that is bright and fresh with vibrant acidity, alongside the typical plush dark fruit characteristics.
Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple methods to show how this rare variety can excel in Napa Valley. The wine was fermented and aged in 24% new French oak barrels (76% neutral barrels) for 18 months, to preserve the pure expression and freshness of the Malbec fruit.
For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California.
|Oak Treatment||24% New French oak barrels (76% neutral barrels) for 18 months|