“Aromas of blackcurrants, black licorice, thyme and violets. Full-bodied with silky, taught tannins. Juicy and vibrant on the palate with well-balanced acidity. Berry flavors. Great tension here. This has a lovely life ahead of it. Best after 2026.” - James Suckling, June 1, 2022
Our 2019 The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon represents the distinctive personality of our estate vineyard and this fantastic vintage, showing a plethora of lovely dark berry fruits with layered richness and intensity. This wine is a classic example of Stags Leap District Cabernet, offering aromas and flavors of juicy blackcurrants, cassis, dark blackberry, and black cherry, alongside lifted, perfumed notes of wild violet and savory chaparral herbs. Full of depth and generosity, this Cabernet is vibrant, viscous, and brooding, with mouth-enveloping texture and balance. With full-bodied elegance and structure, secondary notes of graphite, espresso, dark chocolate, and black licorice come through on the lengthy finish alongside silky, mouth-coating tannins, and freshness. Certainly plentiful, and robust, but also softened by the terroir elements coming through from the balance, delicacy, and finesse that has become synonymous with Stags’ Leap estate wines. Drinking beautifully upon release, while also demonstrating the opulence and grace of the estate, this Cabernet is certain to age impeccably when cellared properly.
The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. Most grapes ripened at lower sugars, thanks to the extended, cool growing season, and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, fresh acidity, and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. The resulting crop showed a modest yield with a slightly more compact structure and extract than in previous years.
Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with Napa Valley and has always been a mainstay in the winemaking program at Stags’ Leap Winery. The Leap is sourced from select Cabernet Sauvignon blocks within our Stags’ Leap Winery estate vineyard that are 25-30 years old, on average. This singular expanse of earth tucked up against the eastern palisades of Napa Valley features thin, rocky soils in its upper reaches, giving way to finer-grained loamy soils at its floor. The heat-reflecting palisades, with their towering rocky crags, provide consistent warmth over the estate and help balance the cooling breezes from the south. This pronounced micro-climate is remarkably well-suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of distinction.
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.
The Leap is a barrel selection, a blend of the best Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, lots, and cooperages, in each vintage. Each lot undergoes a long, (almost month-long), maceration period which adds color, tannin, and complexity of flavors to the Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, each lot was held separately in French oak barrels (60% new) for 20 months before our winemakers hand selected the most expressive of them to blend just prior to bottling. Keeping each block separate allows close monitoring of each individual lot through aging, maximizing the depth and potential of the estate vineyards.
|Oak Treatment||100% French oak barrels (60% new) for 20 months|
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