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Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association

2006 Tasting Notes

Download 2006 Tasting Notes (PDF)

Baldacci Family Vineyards

2006 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2006 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, from Baldacci's estate Stags Leap District vineyards, is created from the best selections of several cabernet sauvignon blocks on their 17-acre parcel. They have found that different sections of the vineyard bring forth unique characteristics from the grape (fruit forwardness, tannic structure, acid balance) which together combine to make a perfectly balanced wine. The blend is 100% cabernet sauvignon. With aromas of red fruit, violets, and clean earth, this wine has all the elegance that is expected from a Stags Leap District cabernet. Rich flavors of vanilla bean, mocha and fig linger over the palate and play off the creamy richness of the French oak and highlight silky tannins. This wine is delicious now but will age well for six to eight years.

Chimney Rock Winery

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ganymede Vineyard, Stags Leap District

The 2006 vintage gifted Chimney Rock Winery with many wonderful lots of cabernet sauvignon. It was a cool spring followed by some nice hot weather in the summer. A drier spring than 2005 brought in smaller berries and increased concentration in all of the wines. Ganymede Vineyard brings the best fruit on the property — blocks previously dedicated to their famed Reserve Cabernet are used here to celebrate the cup-bearer to the Gods. If you have been to the winery you see this image on the north side of the original winery building. This young wine has much to offer now but its vibrancy and weight point to beautiful age-ability as well.

Cliff Lede Vineyards

2006 Poetry, Stags Leap District

The 2006 Poetry continues the tradition of extraordinary complexity and richness entwined with deep aromatic intensity. Enticing aromas of dark chocolate ganache, black fig, mulberry and blood orange unfold into suggestions of crushed rose petals and white chocolate. The impressive bouquet persists upon entry, where it dances seamlessly with flavors of cranberry, black cherry, persimmon and a wisp of datura flower. This stoic yet gentle wine has velvety tannins with balanced acidity and a lasting finish. Such elegance makes this Poetry a most unusual and delightful creation. 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot. 969 cases produced.

Clos Du Val

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Clos Du Val's flagship estate wine, the 2006 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, is deep garnet 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 20+ years.

Hartwell Vineyards

2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2006 growing season began with a wet winter that was followed by late spring rains, delaying bud break but nurturing healthy vines and a moderate crop. The remainder of the season was marked by two heat waves, in June and July, and no rain until October. The mild weather provided a long period of ripening, enabling the grapes to mature slowly and fully with great acidity, varietal expression and tannins. Hartwell's 2006 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is intense and concentrated, with layers of blackberry, spicy currant, exotic aromas of cigar and cedar. Focused and full-bodied, the wine demonstrates considerable length and firm, well-structured tannins. Properly cellared, this Estate Cabernet Sauvignon will continue to evolve through at least 2020 and hold for a decade or more thereafter.

Ilsley Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a real stunner. Let's just say that Mother Nature had a major roll in creating this amazing wine. To suggest "Bordeaux like" is not far fetched, for this wine demonstrates grace and elegance with the big red fruit the Ilsleys have come to recognize in their cabernet. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is very complex with an aroma of rose petals, black cherry, cranberry, red licorice and dried herbs. Barrel spice of white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel fill the nostrils with happiness. The palate explodes with bright red fruit, pepper and brown sugar with lively acidity. Sumptuous is the only word to describe this wonderful wine.

Lindstrom Wines

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Each year, under the direction of winemaker Celia Welch, Lindstrom Wines produces a single, estate-grown cabernet sauvignon using a selection of the very finest grapes from their four-acre hilltop Nicali Vineyard in the heart of the Stags Leap District. Eleven blocks of vineyard were assessed independently for ripeness, and were harvested by hand between 9/29 and 10/16/2006. The fruit was gently destemmed, and fermented in small open and closed-top fermenters. After 14 days the fruit was pressed, then transferred to small barrels (80% new French oak) for about 21 months of barrel aging. The wine was blended in July 2007 and bottled in May 2008. 632 cases were produced. The result is a beautifully balanced Cabernet Sauvignon with a rich finish highlighted by light notes of chocolate and vanilla adding layers of complexity to the berry/black fruit flavors. Though unmistakably Stags Leap District in its texture, this wine's structure also displays the intense color, aroma, and flavor density which is appropriately derived from its steep, rocky hillside origins.

Malk Family Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

This beautiful Cabernet announces its region's heritage with its distinctive aromatic profile of milk chocolate, cherry licorice, sweet plums, vanilla and dried tobacco leaves. The wine is even more clearly Stags Leap District on the palate, where rich flavors of red cherry, red currant and milk chocolate rise on a delightfully supple, palate-coating wave. The finish is long and already extremely satisfying and the tannins are buried under layers of mocha and cassis. Certain to improve for a few years, this one is so attractive now as to make waiting seem pointless. 300 cases produced.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2006 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 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec, 4% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. 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 to mid-October, the grapes macerated on the skins and were pumped over traditionally for 20 to 25 days before being pressed to barrels for 14 months of aging. The final result is a powerful wine that offers youthful aromas of lush black plum, cherry and berry fruit enriched with hints of toasted pecans and sweet vanilla. The entry on the palate is intense, with a solid core of dark fruit, mouthwatering acidity and a velvety texture that balances the muscular tannins. The finish slowly draws to a close with notes of milk chocolate, coffee and caramel lingering to the last. Decant for up to an hour before serving to allow its complex flavors full expression.

Regusci Winery

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Regusci Ranch dates back to the early 1930s making it one the oldest family properties in the Stags Leap District. Gaetano Regusci started a family farming and wine making legacy that has been passed down through the generations, to his son Angelo and grandson Jim who still live on the Ranch and farm the vines that make today's Regusci wines; three generations, one enduring passion and all Regusci. Today, Regusci Ranch totals 290 acres in the heart of the Stags Leap District and exemplifies the unique terroir producing the firmly cored but softly displayed tannin structure that wine lovers around the world associate with the area. The 2006 Regusci Estate Cabernet Sauvignon builds on the reputation of prior vintages, exhibiting a deep garnet color leading to concentrated aromas of black cherry, currant and lavender. Big, bright and juicy blackberry flavors flood the palate, in combination with a sweetly integrated tannin structure that will allow the wine to age gracefully over the next decade or two.

Robert Sinskey Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

"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 creates a wine that exhibits classic Stags Leap District elegance. The 2006's aromas of black currant, blackberry, plum, olive and dried herb prompt a sip that fills out the aromas and wraps the palate in silk. Fresh, vibrant acidity balances the rich flavors and, along with the wine's supple, ripe tannins, begs culinary suitors.

Robinson Family Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

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. Each of the lots were 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 full, rich-bodied, well-balanced wine with flavors of cassis, blackberry and cherries. Those combine nicely with the barrel influenced flavors of spices, cream and vanilla. Robust but well integrated tannins emerge to create a wonderful drawn out finish.

Shafer Vineyards

2006 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

One Point Five is an elegant, silky Cabernet Sauvignon with soft tannins and abundant fruit that is approachable when young, yet capable of aging gracefully. This wine reflects the climate and soils of Shafer's Stags Leap District vineyard sites and their commitment to meticulous, sustainable farming and quality winemaking. The 2006 One Point Five offers aromas of warm black fruit, cedar, chocolate, and dried herbs, followed by rich, juicy flavors of blackberry, dark chocolate, and tobacco, with a nice long finish. The tannins are ripe and supple.

Silverado Vineyards

2006 SOLO, Stags Leap District

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. The fruit from this site helped establish the area's reputation in the 1970s. The 2006 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 is a classic Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon - intense dark ripe red fruit aromas with dried herb and spice leads to a broadly structured palate with layers of berry fruit compote, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2006 Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

FAY vineyard is the land where the story of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars began back in 1969 when Founder Warren Winiarski tasted Nathan Fay's 1968 homemade Cabernet. Warren knew instantly that he had found what he was searching for-- classic elements of fruit and structure, suppleness, and balance. Vineyard blocks on the eastern slope, closest to the Palisades, contribute structural components derived from the volcanic soils there, while the more aromatic components come from the vineyard blocks on the western alluvial upland. When blended together, they achieve what Winiarski referred to as "an iron fist in a velvet glove." Cool, wet weather delayed bud break by a few weeks and in July, record-setting temperatures allowed the vines to catch up to a "normal" place in a typical growing season. Mild weather in August and into fall allowed for moderately paced, deliberate ripening and a long harvest period. This wine opens with the scent of sweet spices. Anise, nutmeg and allspice are framed around red cherry aromas. Firm and focused flavors of dark plum and cherry broaden across the back-palate to an expansive density of fruit. The blend is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Stags' Leap Winery

2006 The Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Block that's called The Leap lies at the doorstep of the historic Stags' Leap Manor House. This is the heart of the estate, with exceptionally well-drained volcanic soil that produces the winery's most distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon each year. The wine was created to celebrate this small, yet distinct vineyard block, and to offer collectors a long-lived Cabernet that speaks to the unique terroir of the Stags Leap District. The Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon opens with complex aromas of cinnamon, leather and cassis. The structure is dense and compact with harmonious layers of red fruit and ripe, dark plum. Aged for 24 months in barrels, fully resolved and mature tannins carry through to a long finish of brambles, coffee and cocoa powder.

Steltzner Vineyards

2006 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Steltzners have been working with the land in the Stags Leap District over 40 years. Their 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 of this land and continue with the second generation working in the day-to- day business. The Estate Reserve celebrates both founder Richard Steltzner and the essence of Stags Leap District. Working 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 appellation.

Taylor Family Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Taylor Family 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, the Taylors planted their ten-acre vineyard in the Stags Leap District's characteristic volcanic soil literally on their hands and knees together. The 2006 Taylor Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is classic and elegant and showcases the true expression of Stags Leap District fruit. The bouquet leads with dark cherry, tobacco leaf, cedar and anise. The lush aromas complement the supple, soft, silky tannins and the explosion of dark fruit and spice.

Terlato Family Vineyards

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

This wine comes from the Stags Leap District, universally hailed as the best cabernet sauvignon in California. The unique soil and climate in this region allow Stags Leap District to rival the great Grand Crus of Bordeaux. It was with this in mind that Anthony Terlato chose to create a Cabernet Sauvignon with his well known family name. The 2006 Terlato Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits layers of cassis, bing cherry, cocoa, hints of vanilla and clove. It has luscious cherry fruit with powerful texture that is as rich as chocolate. This wine has a long finish with great balance. The 2006 vintage tastes wonderful now but it will reward those with the patience to cellar it for a few years.

Download 2006 Tasting Notes (PDF)