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Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association

2005 Tasting Notes

Download 2005 Tasting Notes (PDF)

Baldacci Family Vineyards

2005 Baldacci Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The Black Label Estate Baldacci Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is produced exclusively from the 17 acre Baldacci Family Vineyards Stags Leap District Vineyard. 2005 brought in wines with outstanding character due to the long cool summer. The Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet aged in 70% new French oak barrels for 20 months and bottle aged for 14 months prior to release. The integrated aromas of cigar box, rose petals, and cassis linger in this classic, Old World style Cabernet as you taste the wine. Dusty tannins highlight the ripe plum, leather and brambly notes. Hints of fig and bittersweet chocolate powder linger on the palate as the wine expands into an outstanding finish. The complexity and balance on this wine makes it enjoyable now, in its youth, but you will be rewarded to lay it down and enjoy this wine in a few years as the dense flavors soften and integrate.

Chimney Rock Winery

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ganymede Vineyard

The 2005 vintage gifted Chimney Rock Winery with many wonderful lots of cabernet sauvignon. It was a cool year and the lack of dramatic heat spikes during the growing season produced fruit of perfect integrity and elegance. Ganymede Vineyard brings in the best fruit on the property — blocks previously dedicated to the famed Reserve Cabernet — and are used here to celebrate the cup-bearer to the Gods. If you have been or come to the winery, this image can be seen on the north side of the original winery building. Crafted in extremely limited quantities, the 2005 Chimney Rock Ganymede Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is only available directly through the winery and at select events. The wine borrows the 1er Cru Classe technique of aging in 100% new French oak. While irresistible now, it will also develop beautifully well into the next decade.

Cliff Lede Vineyards

2005 Poetry

Cliff Lede Vineyards' fruit was sourced from the steep hillside terraces of its Poetry Vineyard at the northeastern boundary of the Stags Leap District. Exceptional farming practices and low yields, just one ton to the acre average, combine to ensure the vineyard's potential is delivered to the winery. Hand-harvested, the grapes were destemmed and subjected to rigorous berry-by-berry hand sorting. The chosen fruit was then placed into small stainless steel tanks for a three to five day pre-fermentation cold soak. A two-week fermentation with twice-daily pumpovers gently extracted flavor and color from the cap. The wine underwent extended maceration to further integrate the tannins and develop texture. After a gentle pressing, the wine was drained into French oak barrels (78% new) to complete malolactic fermentation and age in the barrel for 18 months. The wine is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot. 925 cases produced.

Clos Du Val

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Clos Du Val's flagship estate wine, the 2005 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is deep purple-black in color with vibrant aromas of ripe black fruit and a hint of dried herbs, mocha coffee and toast. The wine has a rich, powerful entry, and concentrated mid-palate, filling the mouth with intense black fruit and spice. With its velvety-smooth tannins and elegant structure, this Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic expression of Stags Leap District terroir. The finish is long and lingering. Enjoy now or cellar for at least 10-15 years.

Hartwell Vineyards

2005 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 was a miracle year in many ways. A late rainy spring, monstrous crop loads and a potentially late harvest brought some mid-season anxiety. A convergence of events--a warm, mild spring in 2004, a light crop load in 2004, and the record spring rainfall in 2005 — meant a generous crop for the Napa Valley. It appeared that Hartwell Vineyards might have been three to four weeks behind in harvest from recent vintages, and if they received rain or cool weather in September or early October, it could have meant disaster. Instead, Mother Nature delivered a near-perfect fall, with moderate temperatures, lots of sunshine, and virtually no rain until the last day of October. Unlike the previous four vintages, which saw late-season temperature spikes, autumn 2005 was long and mild. The fruit matured just as the leaves yellowed, which in many ways is "textbook" for flavor and tannin development. The fruit developed beautifully, with dark color, soft tannins, and great varietal purity.

Ilsley Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2005 vintage was ideal for wine growers and was referred to as a "Cinderella vintage," characterized by moderately high yields and very high quality. An October harvest, about two weeks later than normal and long "hang-time" helped to ensure that the cabernet reached full maturity, with a beautiful combination of fruit and tannin. The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep, dark, ruby red color with a hint of purple. The bouquet is very intriguing, complex and perfumed. This wine is a wonderful mixture of bright black fruits, black cherry, blackberry, blueberries, spice and flowers, slight cedar, and milk chocolate, roses, integrated toasty oak and honeysuckle. It's mouth-filling, with an outstanding middle palate and dense yet smooth tannins. This cabernet sauvignon has a superb balance with a very long finish. The flavors go on and on.

Malk Family Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2005 Malk Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent example of both the vineyard and the Stags Leap District. Ripe aromas of cassis extract, black cherry and hints of spice show the classic nose of this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Underlying notes of vanilla and cedar also carry through to the palate. While a full body and rich tannins allow the wine to be appreciated now, it should age nicely for years to come.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2005 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, with its supple tannins and black cherry fruit flavors, is a pure expression of the world-famous Stags Leap District (SLD) appellation. It is produced in the Bordeaux style by carefully blending 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. Grown on the steeply-terraced and densely planted hillsides of their home vineyards in SLD, Pine Ridge Vineyards achieves small yields of tiny berries that give this wine its traditional depth and complexity. Harvested in early September, the grapes macerated on the skins and were pumped over traditionally for 24-28 days before being pressed to barrels for 15-17 months of aging. The final result is a wine bursting with ripe red, black cherry and berry fruit, dark chocolate and tobacco leaf. Touches of smoke, brown sugar, spicy clove and dark fruit hint at the complexity that proper aging will bring. The palate lives up to the promise of the nose with loads of dark fruit and berry flavors. Well-integrated tannins are firm but silky, balancing the weight of the rich fruit perfectly for a velvety, full-bodied wine that drinks beautifully now and can be kept 10-12 years.

Regusci Winery

2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

The Regusci Winery's 290 acre ranch is situated just below the eastern palisades of the renowned Stags Leap District. The Ranch has been farmed by three generations and the Regusci Estate wines represent the passion and tradition of the Regusci family. Jim and Diana Regusci continue to focus on exceptional quality and limited production wines and the 2005 Regusci Estate Cabernet Sauvignon continues this pursuit. The vintage is rich and expressive with big bold fruit that is anticipated from the Stags Leap District; the wine is deep garnet color with intense aromas of rose, lavender and dark cherry. Bright juicy cherry flavors flow over a long-lived core of lingering fruit, finishing in supple tannins. With proper cellaring this wine will continue to evolve over the next 10-15 years.

Robinson Family Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

At the foot of the Stags Leap palisades, nestled beneath the rock outcroppings, lies the Robinson Family Vineyard. Their wines are a blend of several small lots of cabernet sauvignon from their estate vineyard located in the heart of the famed Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley. Each of the lots was fermented individually in small open top stainless steel tanks and the finished wines were racked to small French oak barrels for aging; the final blend was assembled just prior to bottling. This is a dark, rich, well-balanced wine that shows wonderful complexity in the glass. The cherry and blueberry fruit and cola notes that are apparent in the nose show in the flavors as well. There are nice spice and cedar notes through the middle palate and the well integrated, dusty tannins help provide a long rewarding finish.

Shafer Vineyards

2005 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon

One Point Five is an elegant, silky Cabernet Sauvignon with soft tannins and abundant fruit that reflects the climate and soils of the Shafer's Stags Leap District vineyard sites and their commitment to meticulous, sustainable farming and quality winemaking. The 2005 One Point Five offers aromas of black, chewy fruit, cedar, chocolate, and dried herbs, followed by a seamless balance of rich, juicy flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, and tobacco, with a nice long finish.

Silverado Vineyards

2005 SOLO

On land that has supported vines since the 1880s, Silverado Vineyards was the third property planted to cabernet sauvignon in what became the Stags Leap District. And it is the fruit from this property that helped establish the area's reputation in the 1970s. The 2005 SOLO is produced entirely from grapes grown in this vineyard, which stretches across the rocky terraces and gentle slopes between the Silverado Trail and the Napa River. It displays all the ripe and complex fruit, supple texture, and solid structure that helped define the appellation, one of the most distinctive cabernet sauvignon growing regions in the Napa Valley.

Robert Sinskey Vineyards

2005 RSV Cabernet Sauvignon

"If you work on the quality of your ingredients, heavy-handed technique is unnecessary," states RSV winemaker Jeff Virnig. The "ingredients" Jeff refers to come from RSV's four and one-half acre, organically and biodynamically farmed, hillside estate vineyard that produces shy yields of intense fruit. "We never need to worry about wine color and flavor extraction because the fruit is nutritionally balanced with fully developed color. This gives us the option to employ gentle fermentation techniques." RSV's attention to detail created a wine that exhibits classic Stags Leap District elegance. The 2005's firm, but supple structure provides a densely woven, luxurious venue for succulent flavors of extra dark chocolate, black cherry, plums, licorice and herbs that last and last.

Stags' Leap Winery

2005 The Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

The block called The Leap lies at the doorstep of the historic Manor House. This is the heart of the estate vineyard, with exceptionally well-drained volcanic soil that produces Stags' Leap Winery's most distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon. The Leap was created to celebrate this unique vineyard block, and to offer a wine that speaks to the impressive terroir of the Stags Leap District. The 2005 vintage produced a well-balanced wine with impressive structure and fully mature tannins. Complex aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate and a hint of espresso give way to a dense structure with layers of blackberry, black currant and anise. Supple tannins lead to a long chocolaty finish.

Steltzner Vineyards

2005 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 40th Anniversary Bottling

The 2005 vintage marked a milestone for the Steltzners as they celebrated 40 years in Stags Leap District beginning in 1965. The 100 acre Estate, tucked under the eastern slopes of the Vaca Range below the Stags Leap Palisades, is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, with small amounts of Malbec, Petit Verdot, Pinotage and Sangiovese. The Steltzners see themselves as stewards to this land and continue with the second generation working in the day-to-day business. For 2005, the family set out to create a wine that celebrates founder Richard Steltzner's pas- sion and vision, and which captures the essence of Stags Leap District. Work- ing with favorite blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap District Estate, winemaker Tim Dolven crafted a wine that captures the velvety texture and bright fruit of the Stags Leap District. Production on this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is limited to just under 600 cases.

Taylor Family Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Taylor Family Vineyards has been farming quality Stags Leap District Cabernet and Chardonnay for three decades with a focus on growing the finest fruit possible while maintaining a commitment to family. In 1980, literally on their hands and knees together, the Taylors planted their ten acre vineyard in the Stags Leap District's characteristic volcanic soil. The 2005 Taylor Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon reaches a sophisticated elegance with initial notes of a medley of dark fruits, tobacco leaf and cedar. The luxuriant aromas complement the supple, silky tannins notable from the Stags Leap District volcanic soil. On the palate, this wine shows refined, supple tannins that burst with dark fruit and spice with an "enduring velvety finish."

Terlato Family Vineyards

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine comes from the Stags Leap District, universally hailed as the best cabernet sauvignon location in California. The unique soil and climate in this region allow Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignons to rival the great Grand Crus of Bordeaux. The 2005 Terlato Family Vineyard exhibits aromas of cassis, cocoa, blueberry with hints of vanilla. With rich berry flavors and firm tannins, it has a long finish with great balance. Enjoyable while young, it will reward those with the patience to cellar it for a few years.

Download 2005 Tasting Notes (PDF)