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Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association

2007 Tasting Notes

Download 2007 Tasting Notes (PDF)

Baldacci Family Vineyards

2007 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Grapes for Baldacci Family Vineyards' 2007 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon were hand-harvested in the cool morning, de-stemmed and set to cold soak before fermentation began with native yeasts. Winemaker Rolando Herrera allows the fruit to express itself in the fermentation process before each lot is placed into oak barrels and allowed to age separately until Rolando begins the blending to create a balanced, 100% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2007 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth, rich and generous — a Stags Leap District wine that truly represents the "Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove;" it is what we think of when we say "Napa Valley Cabernet." The aging in 100% French, 55% new, barrels for 18 months only enhances this balanced wine. Aromas of cassis, blackberries and clean earth compliment the layered flavors of black cherries, wild berries, caramel custard and refined, mouth-water tannins. Irresistible in its youth, this wine will age gracefully for 8-10 years.

Chimney Rock Winery

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ganymede Vineyard, Stags Leap District

The 2007 harvest will go down without doubt as one of the great harvests of the decade for Chimney Rock. They experienced a beautifully dry spring — which if they could control every year — is the first thing they we need to grow great grapes. They like for the vines to stress early so that they can focus their attention completely on the clusters and berries — rather than to be distracted by the vigorous vegetative growth obtained in wetter years. One of the parameters of quality the winemakers look at in wine grape growing is the size of the berry. Most of the "goods" in a wine come from the skins. The smaller the berries the better ratio of skin compounds to pulp — therefore the greater the concentration in flavor and color. The average Cabernet Sauvignon berry size in 2007 was approximately 25-30% smaller than the previous two vintages. This was also the case for other Bordeaux varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It is important to say that quality-wise we have had a string of great vintages but the concentration of the fruit in 2007 is unquestionable. In comparison to the 2006 vintage which took a while to "open up" - the wines of the 2007 vintage have been luscious and generous in aromatics and texture right from the start. Most critics will jump on the idea that if the wines are good young, they may not stand the test of time. Winemaker Elizabeth Vianna believes they will — this vintage is reminiscent of 2002 but better and those wines are doing well on the ageability scale. It wasn't a particularly hot year — so the acids were healthy at harvest. The secret to ageability of reds is somewhere in the synergy between acid and tannin composition. It will be a thrill to see how this beautiful vintage develops.

Cliff Lede Vineyards

2007 Poetry, Stags Leap District

The Poetry Vineyard is the eastern most of two estate Stags Leap District vineyards, located just a stone's throw from the winery and the Twin Peaks Estate Vineyard. The property sits on a steep west-facing, high-exposure hillside below the luxurious Poetry Inn. Reaching from the highest elevation of the Stags Leap District Appellation down almost to the valley floor, this vineyard's soul is a gritty combination of shallow soils atop fractured shales and low-yielding old vines of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Grapes were picked in the darkness of the very early morning hours, and immediately subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process. The berries were gently delivered to tank by our unique crane system, minimizing disruption of berry integrity. Cold soaks lasted approximately five to eight days and fermentations were managed via a combination of delestage and pumpovers. Extended maceration of two and a half to five weeks fine-tuned our tannin profiles, and allowed us to perfect mouth feel and wine complexity. The components that make up this wine underwent eighteen months of elevage in eighty-five percent new French oak and fifteen percent neutral French oak.

The 2007 Poetry possesses a nose redolent of blueberry strudel, nutmeg, caraway, cola and graphite. It opens with peony, créme de cassis, and violets. It has a truly remarkable mouth, with rich layers reminiscent of blueberry coulis, dense bramble, black cherry, and sweet opulent violet liqueur. With a unique balance of sweet fatness and elegant softness, wrapped in a cloak of unctuous silkiness, the mouth turns floral and complements its finesse and structure with soft-rounded tannins and an elegant finish that lingers. Sourced from the steep hillside terraces of Poetry Vineyard, this wine delivers all of the elegance and concentration for which the Stags Leap District is famous.

Clos Du Val

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Quality for 2007 was exceptional, largely due to near-perfect weather conditions. After a cold and relatively dry winter, bud break occurred in late February. A few storms in March filled the reservoirs and brought total rainfall close to average. The drier soils allowed for complete control of vine canopies, which resulted in well balanced blocks across the board.

Clos Du Val's flagship estate wine, the 2007 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet in color with complex aromas of ripe black fruit, cocoa, vanilla and a hint of dried herbs. The wine has a rich, entry, and concentrated mid-palate, filling the mouth with black fruit, spice and a hint of cocoa on the finish. 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+ years.

Hartwell Vineyards

2007 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The growing season in 2007 was very smooth, sunny and consistent; undoubtedly ranking as one of the greatest vintages for Bordeaux varietals in Napa Valley.

Following a dry winter, bud break and vine growth began early, with cooler temperatures than usual. Vines came into balance with low vigor and small to medium sized berry clusters. At veraison in mid-July, after a small heat spike, the Hartwell's decided to be more aggressive in thinning sections of the vineyard, cutting back yields but in-turn intensifying the fruit flavors among the remaining Cabernet clusters.

Hartwell's 2007 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon reveals enticing notes of blueberry, raspberry ganache and fig paste interweaved with subtle hints of mocha and pipe tobacco. Full bodied yet focused, this stylish wine offers considerable hedonistic opulence, framed by sweet acidity and firm yet polished tannins. Properly cellared the 2007 Estate Reserve Cabernet will gain complexity and evolve beautifully over the next two decades.

Ilsley Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

As vines mature wonderful things happen; the wines emerge into new and wonderful vintages. The impression one receives from the wines changes, and a whole new level of stellar wines begins. This is the story of the Ilsley 2007 Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has a depth, complexity and texture. It is truly amazing. This wine's red cherry, tobacco, floral notes, blueberry and spicy cinnamon attack the nose with undertones of chocolate, caramel, allspice, and brown sugar. The wine is massive, yet soft with big tannins, lovely acidity and a mouthful of red fruit. It has a powerful, rich texture with a long finish.

Lindstrom Wines

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was produced entirely from fruit grown on the Lindstrom family estate in Stags Leap District. First impressions of the aromas from this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon show lovely, perfumed essence of raspberries, roses and a touch of lilac, with darker cherry tones adding depth and a sense of mature-fruit. The sweet fruit character is remarkably focused and intense, reflecting its steep hillside origins. On the palate, the wine offers an elegant, full-bodied, soft, silky entry, with dark warm berry fruit character. The finish is rich, exhibiting layers of complexity and a dense, mouth-coating texture. The overall density and concentration of the palate impression results from the very rocky vineyard source of this dark, rich cabernet. A total of 480 cases were produced by our winemaker, Celia Welch.

Malk Family Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2007 Vintage of the Malk Family Vineyards is likely their best effort to date. The wine has deeper notes of blackberry and black cherry in the 2007, along with the rich currant and ripe red fruit they have enjoyed in previous vintages. The fruit aromas are highlighted with warm spicy notes that follow through to the palate giving way to the classic silky mouth-feel the Malks have come to expect. This vintage does offer a bit more extraction and body and should age well for many years.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

With meticulous attention to detail and a knowledge developed over 30 years of continuity, Pine Ridge Vineyards produces wines that showcase 200 acres of premier estate vineyards across five renowned appellations in the Napa Valley. The 2007 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is a pure expression of the world-famous Stags Leap District appellation. It is produced in the Bordeaux style, a blend of 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, the winery achieves small yields of tiny berries that give this wine its traditional depth and complexity. This powerful wine 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.

Regusci Winery

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Here comes 2007 at its best! Headily lush on the nose with deep black fruit - think cherry and blackberry - balanced with sweet floral notes, shavings of chocolate and subtle minerality. The palate delights in rich, ripe, fat, rounded and juicy black and red currant fruit, smoky spices and softly tart tannins. A finish that unfolds into deepening layers of black current and engaging cassis, reminds us why we make wine. Pull the cork now or wait 8-10 years if you can!

Robinson Family Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

This is the Robinson Family's 40th year growing grapes in the Stags Leap District; the property is nestled at the foot of the Stags Leap Palisades beneath the rock outcroppings. The Robinsons are a small family run winery. The grapes are hand-picked and each of lot is fermented individually in small stainless tanks and then aged in French oak barrels for 24 months. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, well balanced wine. Everything is in harmony throughout the palate. There are nice fruit flavors of blueberry jam and cherry cola, mixed with vanilla and spices. The tannins are woven throughout the wine holding everything together from first sip through the lengthy finish. You will find this wine quite enjoyable now, or, as the wine ages, it will continue to develop gracefully for years to come.

Shafer Vineyards

2007 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. This vintage of One Point Five arrives with classic mouth-filling blackberry, rich black plum, and cassis along with chocolate, espresso bean, herbs, black pepper, and a supple texture and ripe Stags Leap District tannins.

Silverado Vineyards

2007 SOLO, Stags Leap District

"Crafted entirely from grapes grown in our Stags Leap Vineyard surrounding the winery, SOLO has one driving philosophy: location," says winemaker Jon Emmerich. Specific clone selection (their own Heritage Clone, UCD 30), micro block fermentation, a restrained approach to oak aging: everything Silverado does is tailored to honor the purity of fruit which expresses this special site. 2007 was a smaller yield producing a Cabernet Sauvignon that displays all the complexity, suppleness, texture and solid structure that helped define the Stags Leap District. The wine has exuberant aromas of perfectly ripe black cherry and plum fruit. Medium to full bodied with ripe juicy red fruit flavors on a long, lingering, persistent finish.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2007 Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The FAY vineyard is where the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars story began. In 1969, founder Warren Winiarski tasted and fell in love with Nathan Fay's homemade 1968 Cabernet Sauvignon. He knew instantly that he had found what he was searching for — classic elements of fruit and structure, suppleness and balance. This Cabernet Sauvignon comes largely from blocks on the lower and middle sections of the FAY vineyard, which give the wine its classic red-fruit tones and aromatic top notes. A small amount (less than 10%) of the blend is from the eastern blocks of FAY, which tend to be more powerful. When the various lots are blended and aged in French oak barrels, the resultant wine gives us the classic expression that is a hallmark for our Estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon, "an iron fist in a velvet glove." The 2007 FAY shows the typical bright cherry aromatic signature of the vineyard, as well as barrel spice, sandalwood, red plum and subtle sous bois (forest floor) aromas. The palate is fresh and energetic, with perfectly ripened red and black cherry and plum fruit. Gentle notes of spice and caramel sit in the background, adding nuance without masking the fruit character. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine is solidly structured yet supple, closing with refreshing natural acidity.

Stags' Leap Winery

2007 The Leap 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, aged for 24 months in French oak barrels (50% new) and offers collectors a long-lived Cabernet that speaks to the unique terroir of the Stags Leap District. Stags' Leap's "The Leap" Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 opens with complex aromas of dark berry fruit, sweet tobacco, vanilla bean and black pepper. It has a luscious round mid-palate highlighting bright dark cherry and licorice. Juicy tannins carry through to a long rich finish of spice and blackberry.

Steltzner Vineyards

2007 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Steltzner family has 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 and Petit Verdot. 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 his 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. The 2007 Vintage is rich and supple wine that embodies Stags Leap District- 120 cases produced.

Taylor Family Vineyards

2007 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 2007 Taylor Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is a wonderful expression of classic Stags Leap elegance and grace. The bouquet opens with dark cherry and blackberry, sweet tobacco leaf, cedar and graphite. The lush aromas complement the supple, velvety tannins and the eruption of dark fruit, spice and hints of cocoa powder.

Terlato Family Vineyards

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

This wine comes from the Stags Leap District, universally hailed as the best appellation for 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 2007 Terlato Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits layers of cherry, cocoa, hints of mint, clove and dried herbs. It has luscious cherry fruit with powerful texture that is as rich as chocolate. This wine has a long finish with great balance. The 2007 vintage is a historic vintage for Stags Leap District which will no doubt reward and delight collectors and wine drinkers around the world.