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Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association

2008 Tasting Notes

Baldacci Family Vineyards

2008 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Our 2008 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth, rich and generous. The aging in 100% French, 55% new, for 18 months only enhances this balanced wine. Dark red ruby hues and powerful aromas of ripe red fruit, dried roses, figs and caramel are the hallmark of this classic Stags Leap District Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. On the palate, flavors of dark chocolate, black cherries, cassis and delicate oak notes combine with the balanced acidity and lingering tannins to give this wine great length and intensity. Our 2008 Black Label is the perfect food pairing wine with its excellent balance and will age well for 7-9 nine years.

Chimney Rock Winery

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ganymede Vineyard, Stags Leap District

Ganymede Vineyard brings us some of the best fruit on our property from some of our oldest vines. Blocks previously dedicated to our famed Reserve Cabernet are used here to celebrate the cup-bearer to the Gods. If you have been to our winery you will see his image on the north side of our original winery building. This wine is an extraordinary example of the greatness of the Stags Leap District appellation — beautiful density and seductive aromatics.

The warm 2008 vintage gave us low yields and powerful fruit. Although we had some weather challenges our hard work in the vineyards paid off. The wines from the vintage display power, ageability and grace.

Cliff Lede Vineyards

2008 Poetry, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Poetry Vineyard, carved into a steep west-facing hillside, reaches from the highest elevations of the Stags Leap District appellation down to the valley floor. This vineyard's soul is derived from shallow soils atop fractured shale. The small vines develop slowly, and naturally yield small berries due to the stressful nature of the site.

The grapes were picked in the cool darkness of the early morning hours, and immediately subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered hand sorting process. The fruit was gently delivered to tank by our unique crane system, assuring a high percentage of whole berries. Cold soaks lasted approximately five to eight days and fermentations were managed through a combination of delestage and pumpovers. Extended maceration of two and a half to five weeks ensured exceptional extraction and a fine-tuning of tannin profiles. The components that make up this wine underwent eighteen months of elevage in new French oak.

Seductive aromas of raspberry mousse, violets, allspice and graphite emanate from the glass. The palate is a combination of power and finesse. Rich layers of chocolate and cassis develop quickly in the mid-palate supported by a classic Stags Leap District minerality. Luscious, soft, rounded tannins extend into the lengthy finish. While the wine offers pleasures now, patient cellaring will reveal even greater elegance.

Clos Du Val

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Our Flagship Cabernet Sauvignon hails from our renowned Stags Leap District vineyard, best known for elegant and opulent wines. Deep garnet in color this wine is aged in French oak for 24 months. The wine is full bodied and accented with complex flavors of black fruit, chocolate, and dried herbs. The 2008 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits extraordinary complexity and balance, bolstered by fully integrated, silky tannins. Enjoy now or cellar for at least 10+ years.

Hartwell Vineyards

2008 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2008 vintage will be remembered for the small crop of dark and deeply concentrated fruit resulting from the climatic challenges throughout the year. Spring started the growing season with severe frost which limited the fruit set for most of Northern California. Several heat spikes followed during the summer months with drought conditions intensifying the stress on the vines and in turn yielded a smaller berry size during the fruit set. Autumn then ushered in moderate and even temperatures during harvest, ensuring that all the fruit ripened to its fullest flavor potential.

The 2008 Hartwell Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon unfurls sweet aromatics of cherry licorice, rose petal and sandalwood with subtle hints of split vanilla bean. The full bodied palate showcases precise flavors of blueberry compote, red currant, allspice and Darjeeling tea wrapped together in a structure of sweet and fine-grained tannins. Staying true to breed, the wine offers immediate gratification, but will gain in both depth and complexity as it evolves beautifully over the next two decades.

Ilsley Vineyards

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Napa Valley is renowned for its fine Cabernet Sauvignons, and from Stags Leap District in particular, which produces wines with focus, vibrancy and excellent aging potential. There is a purity about the aromas and flavors in the region's cabernets that make them recognizable among wines from other soil types and climates. We are proud to release this wine, most reflective of our appellation, each year.

The 2008 Ilsley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is inky dark with bright violet just at the rim of wine in the glass. The aroma begins with blackberry, black cherry and ripe raspberry all rolled into one. Spices warm the nose with clove, nutmeg and vanilla scents. After an entry of firm, ripe tannins, the flavors are bright with ripe plum and cassis. The structured mid palate is very good for aging and the finish lingers on the palate with a warm spiciness.

Lindstrom Wines

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The aromas of the Lindstrom 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon display an intensity of very focused red berry essences (raspberry, red cassis, cranberry), which are so focused that they almost seem perfume-like. These berry notes intermingle with darker, more earth-driven notes of bay leaf, oak leaf, cedar bark, and a touch of chocolate.

On the palate, the entry shows a combination of warm raspberries and a hint of sage/tarragon. The texture at entry is broad, soft and warm, and the mouth-feel at the mid-palate stays consistently broad. Although the flavors present themselves boldly, the wine weight and texture show elegance and balance. The finish of the palate echoes the fruit essences so beautifully displayed in the aromas, with the bright, focused sweet red fruit flavors lingering as the other wine flavors slowly fade.

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was produced entirely from fruit grown on the Lindstrom estate in Stags Leap District, Napa Valley. The eleven blocks of vineyard were assessed independently for ripeness, and were harvested by hand between September 8 and 13, 2008. The fruit was gently destemmed, then fermented in small tanks. After 14 to 22 days the fruit was pressed, then transferred to small barrels (80% new French oak) for about 19 months of barrel age. The Cabernet was blended in July 2009, returned to barrels, and bottled in late May, 2010. A total of 395 cases were produced.

Malk Family Vineyards

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2008 Malk Family Vineyards is the product of a moderate and well balanced growing season. This wine is sure to give you everything you expect from Malk wines with a touch more refinement and polish. The gorgeous nose starts with floral notes of fresh cut flowers and lavender. Deeper, richer notes of ripe blackberry and currant soon prevail and are complimented with background hints of chocolate, spice, and cedar. The palate is as developed as any Cabernet we have made. The silky entry is seductive but not light. The mid-palate has great depth and concentration without being bulky and heavy, and the finish has an elegant presence that completes the entire experience.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

2008 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.

Our 2008 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is a pure expression of the world-famous appellation. The majority of our 47 acres across four estate vineyards in this region are densely planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals on steeply-terraced hillsides with Bale clay-loam soils. These prized vineyards produce very low yields of intensely flavored grapes. A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot, this robust, ruby-black wine boasts a harmony of aromas including dense dried cherry, blackberry jam and red plum interwoven with rich toffee, dried herbs and cigar box notes. The equally bountiful and beautifully structured palate resonates with vibrant black cherry and currant fruits against a background of sweet briar, chocolate-roasted coffee and a subtle white pepper spice, leading into a soft, lengthy cocoa finish with silky-smooth tannins.

Regusci Winery

2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Here comes 2008 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 currant and engaging cassis, reminds us why we make wine. Pull the cork now or wait 8-10 years if you can!

Robinson Family Vineyards

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

At the foot of the Stags Leap Palisades, nestled beneath the rock outcroppings, lies the 78 acre Robinson Family Vineyards. 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 French oak barrels for aging. This 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich fruity nose with hints of lavender and a pleasing resin feel with hues of fresh cola and strawberry seed flavors. It is well balanced with vanilla and tannins in a mouthwatering finish. 238 cases produced.

Shafer Vineyards

2008 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 2008 vintage is a Cabernet that is enticing and enjoyable now and will just get better with time in the cellar. Aromas of rich, polished black fruit, mocha, and spice, are followed by fulsome, juicy flavors of blackberry and black cherry, chocolate, plum and cedar, with ripe, smooth tannins and a pleasingly long finish.

Silverado Vineyards

2008 SOLO, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

On land that has supported vines since the 1880s, our vineyard was the third property planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in what became the Stags Leap District, and fruit from this property helped establish the area's reputation in the 1970s. 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 District as the most distinctive Cabernet-growing region in the Napa Valley.

The New Year began with storms that brought high winds and heavy rains to the valley, but precipitation soon became scarce and for the second year in a row, Napa Valley received little more than 60 percent of its normal rainfall. Warm spring days pushed vines out early, and the persistent frigid, dry air during the nights created conditions for the longest frost period in decades. The harvest was condensed.

Elegant, like a well-tailored suit, defined by good structure and balance, the 2008 exhibits aromas of plum, raspberry and black cherry with earth and herb notes in the background. It has medium body with lush but not overripe fruit on broad mid-palate and has balanced acidity and good structure typical of great Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2008 Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The FAY vineyard is where the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars story began. Established by pioneering grape grower Nathan Fay in 1961, it was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what is now the Stags Leap District. 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. About 20% of the blend is sourced from the eastern blocks of FAY, which tend to be more powerful and lend structure to the wine. When the various lots are blended and aged in French oak barrels, the resulting wine gives us the classic expression that is a hallmark of our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, "an iron fist in a velvet glove."

The 2008 FAY is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and offers sweet floral aromas along with the signature bright cherry note of the vineyard. Red plum and black cherry flavors combine with hints of vanilla, forest floor and spice on the palate. The wine has great fruit concentration and fine-grained tannins that lead to a long, plum-spiced finish. Enjoy with couscous with dried cherries, mushrooms and scallions or pair with roasted duck with a cherry demi-glace.

Stags' Leap Winery

2008 The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Fruit from each designated "Leap" block is hand-picked and fermented separately in French oak barrels (50% new and 50% used) for 24 months, allowing for maximum extraction, concentration and complexity. By keeping each block separate, it allows winemaker Christophe Paubert and his winemaking team to closely monitor the lots through the aging process. For the final blend, the team tastes through all barrels in each lot. From this cherry picking, they create "The Leap," which represents "the best of the best."

The 2008 Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon opens with complex aromas of black cherry, clove and dark chocolate. A complex flavor profile of red and blueberry fruit, sweet tobacco, vanilla bean and a hint of black pepper and clove, are balanced by a juicy mid palate and round tannins. The Leap exhibits the iconic attributes to the Stags Leap District — a concentrated powerful wine, with wonderful elegance.

Steltzner Vineyards

2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Founded by Richard Steltzner in 1965, the Steltzner family has been working with the land in the Stags Leap District for over 45 years. Our 30-acre estate, tucked under the eastern slopes of the Vaca Range below the Stags Leap Palisades, is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon, with small amounts of Sangiovese, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Martini Clone is a single vineyard bottling of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The original bud wood for this vineyard came from the legendary vintner Louis Martini's home vineyard in St. Helena, over 40 years ago. Planted on the southern part of our Estate, we produced 140 cases. Our family hopes this bottle brings as much joy to your family as it does to ours.

Taylor Family Vineyards

2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2008 Taylor Family Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is classic winemaking and elegant in its old world profile to showcase the true expression of Stags Leap District fruit. The bouquet leads with dark cherry, sweet leaf tobacco, violets, and dark cocoa. The rich aromas balance the supple, soft, silky tannins and the bold, rich layers of dark fruit, toasted chocolate while the finish offers dark cherry and sweet leaf tobacco. While the 2008 Reserve can be enjoyed now, patient cellaring will add additional elegance and finesse. The 2008 Reserve is 100% estate Cabernet Sauvignon with a mere 150 case produced.

Terlato Family Vineyards

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

This small production wine is from the Stags Leap District, universally hailed as one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon growing sites in California. The unique soil and climate in this region allow Stags Leap district wines to rival the great Grand Crus of Bordeaux. It was with this in mind that Anthony Terlato chose to create a Cabernet Sauvignon bearing his well-known family name.

The 2008 vintage gifted a wine dominated by luscious cherry fruit with powerful texture that is as rich as chocolate. This wine has a soft finish with great balance — a hallmark of this unique appellation.