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2020 Stags' Leap Barrel Selection Chardonnay

2020 Stags' Leap Barrel Selection Chardonnay

Stags' Leap

2020 Stags' Leap Barrel Selection Chardonnay



The Barrel Selection Chardonnay is a small bottling of the most expressive barrel lots in a given vintage.

Awards & Accolades

  • 95

    “Charming aromas of chamomile, lemon peel and fresh flowers. Medium-bodied with bright, driving acidity. There is a rounded character to the citrus fruit here. Delicate and nuanced, but with lovely concentration and length. Drink or hold.” - James Suckling, June 1, 2022

Wine & Vintage Details

Tasting Notes

A beautifully aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay showcasing the truly exceptional fruit coming from a cooler region within Napa Valley, this 2020 vintage exhibits notes of citrus peel, lime zest, pretty Meyer lemon, fresh green apple, and white peach, supported by delicate flavors of marzipan and pear Tarte Tatin. Layered flavors are vibrant, mouthwatering, luscious, and complex, with crème de limon alongside zesty ginger spice and hints of white pepper, leading to a long refreshing finish. Well-integrated oak is interwoven seamlessly alongside the nuanced spice, all supported by a racing, zippy, backbone of acidity.


The 2020 season will be remembered for factors beyond the typical harvest season. It was a warm, dry winter and the rain and cooler weather didn’t arrive until the end of March. While the mild spring season was a great early start, our winery working conditions had extensive safety protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days, but then harvest was interrupted by wildfires across California, which came as grapes started to be picked, and we were very fortunate that none of our vineyards were in the areas of the active fires. The white wine harvest started in late August, with the wines showing excellent development in the cellars, reflecting the fine vintage year. While the red wine harvest was smaller yielding, proving to be one of the most challenging in history, our winemakers remained optimistic and very complimentary of the high quality achieved from this unprecedented vintage. The resulting 2020 wines are of very high quality with concentrated flavors and excellent acidity, especially for varieties like Chardonnay.

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Carneros AVA



This Chardonnay was crafted with grapes grown in the Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley, located on the north side of the San Pablo Bay. Here, maritime fogs roll across, cooling vineyards throughout the growing season, allowing for ideal preservation of acidity. Known for producing great wines, this undulating, gravelly bayside terrain consistently produces Chardonnay with crisp fruit flavors and bright acidity.


The Barrel Selection Chardonnay is a small bottling of the most expressive barrel lots in a given vintage. Twenty-nine percent of the wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels and the remaining in neutral French oak. This specific barrel treatment as well as selected low impact coopers helps preserve the purity and freshness of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity. The 2020 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 seven months of maturation with a weekly bâtonnage (lees stirring), putting the yeast lees in suspension in order to release subtle aromatics, increasing the complexity and preventing reduction.

Christophe Paubert - Winemaker

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.

Winemaker Christophe Paubert

Alcohol % 13.5%
Oak Treatment Fermented and aged in 100% French oak barrels (29% new) for 7 months
Blend 100% Chardonnay
Case Production 488

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