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Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association

2010 Tasting Notes

Baldacci Family Vineyards

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Our 2010 Black Label Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth, rich and generous — a Stags Leap District wine that offers multiple layers of the well-known "Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove." Classic aromas of raspberries and cherries, dried black figs, hints of oak and minerals and fresh cinnamon leaves create an expectation of flavors that do not disappoint. On the palate this wine is big in every way. Sweet black cherries, chocolate, clean earth, hints of bay leaves and a balanced lingering finish reminds us of what we mean when we say "Napa Valley Cabernet." The aging in 100% French, 60% new, for 18 months only enhances this balanced wine.

Chimney Rock Winery

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ganymede Vineyard, Stags Leap District

Ganymede exemplifies the elusive balance of power and grace that is so revered and expected of Chimney Rock wines. The Chimney Rock estate is comprised of more than twenty distinct vineyard blocks, each possessing a unique soil profile and microclimate that helps create a wine that evokes a singular sense of place and time. Home of the oldest vines on the estate, the Ganymede Vineyard, located along the northern edge of the property, takes its name from the legendary mortal who, in Greek mythology, served as cup-bearer to the Gods. This wine offers some of the best fruit of our sustainably farmed estate. The 2010 vintage of Ganymede tells the tale of a cooler vintage in Stags Leap District. Some May rains, followed by a cool and dry summer and fall, resulted in Cabernet that has beautiful black fruit aromas in addition to delicate layers of dried herbs and tea leaf. The structure of this wine is impressive, and it promises outstanding ageing potential and great depth and complexity.

Cliff Lede Vineyards

2010 Landslide Fire Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The majority of this fruit was sourced from two distinctive blocks named after the rock songs "Landslide" and "Light My Fire," located on our estate Twin Peaks Vineyard. The gravelly loam in "Light My Fire" produces opulent Cabernet with ripe, dark fruit and plush tannins. The hillside, terraced vines of Malbec in "Landslide" offer an intense aromatic lift to the blend. The berries were gently gravity-delivered to tank by our distinctive crane system, minimizing disruption of berry integrity. Cold soaks lasted approximately five to eight days and native fermentations were managed via a combination of delestage, punchdowns, and pumpovers. Extended maceration for four to five weeks fine-tuned our tannin profiles. The wine underwent twenty-one months of elevage in 100% new French oak.

This rocking quartet of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec greets the senses with an aromatic prelude of blackberry, blueberry, and violet. The inky dark color of this ripe, voluptuous medley segues into a concentrated palate of cassis and cacao nibs, with harmonious notes of black licorice. The gravelly minerality of the Twin Peaks Vineyard is a finale that begs for an encore.

Clos Du Val

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Our signature Cabernet Sauvignon hails from our renowned Estate Stags Leap District vineyard, best known for elegant and opulent wines. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 24 months to fully integrate its tannins and structure. It is deep maroon in color and opens to aromas of dark roasted coffee, black fruit and toast. The flavors are evocative of Black Forest fruits, dark chocolate shavings, plum and toffee. The 2010 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits extraordinary complexity and balance, bolstered by fully integrated, silky tannins. Enjoy now or cellar for at least 10 or more years.

Hartwell Vineyards

2010 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2010 growing season really tested the skills of our vineyard manager and winemaker. California endured record-breaking low temperatures throughout the spring, which led to a late budbreak. Then, the rain came, twice as much as the historical average. The persistent moisture led to the development of very vigorous vines, with lots of shoot and leaf growth. Needless to say, we had to do a lot more canopy management and weed control than usual. Then, on Aug. 23, the heat came. Temperatures pushed first into the high 90s and then cracked 100 for several days, breaking records around Northern California. Despite the challenges, and some late rains in October, we have powerful wines with great fruit expression and an amazing mouthfeel.

The 2010 Hartwell Estate Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a complex bouquet of dried cherries, boysenberry syrup, black olive and desert sage. The smooth and harmonious palate yields layers of raspberry coulis, dried fig, cocoa powder and cedar. The Cabernet Sauvignon will always be a fan favorite with its immediate charm and grace.

Ilsley Vineyards

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most iconic varietal grown in the Napa Valley and the Stag's Leap District offers a distinctive, fruit focused, powerful yet soft version of this noble grape. We at Ilsley Vineyards found that the cooler than average spring and summer temperatures in 2010 extended the growing season, helping to create mature, mouth-filling tannins and aromatic complexity. For some parts of California the generally cool summer created challenges in achieving ripeness but at the Ilsley Ranch, which faces west, the long, albeit cool days resulted in near ideal conditions for softness and richness in Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

The 2010 Ilsley Vineyards Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon maximizes complexity with aromas ranging from bright ripe plum and black cherry to sage, cocoa, vanilla, clove and cedar. The cooler growing season brought layers of spice to compliment the red fruit focus known in Stag's Leap Cabernets. On the palate, the wine is remarkably rich from the entry to the finish with cherry fruit and warm spices.

Lindstrom Wines

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

At first glance, the 2010 Lindstrom Cabernet Sauvignon seems to be resplendent with high-toned, perfumed aromas of warm, crushed boysenberries and blueberries. As the wine opens and evolves in the glass, however, deeper base notes of cinnamon bark, crème caramel, and satiny dark chocolate add depth, and just a hint of smoky-sweet tobacco adds a pleasant savory edge. On the palate, the entry of the wine is broad, soft and fully ripe, with juicy berry notes belying a serious, substantial structure to the mid-palate. Tannins and a firm core confirm the age-worthiness in this very approachable hillside Cabernet.

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 October 4 and October 15, 2010. 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 20 months of barrel age. The Cabernet was blended in August 2011, returned to barrels, and bottled in late July 2012. A total of 260 cases were produced.

Malk Family Vineyards

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2010 vintage in the Napa Valley may be what some consider a "sleeper" vintage. Originally not as highly touted as the 2009 vintage, the 2010 has produced some wines of incredible depth and complexity and certainly will prove to be wines that hold up as nicely over time as they do in their youth. The Malk Family Cabernet is no exception. It was one of the deepest and broadest presence on the palate as we have produced. The structure and finesse is classic Stag's Leap District, but the concentration and weight is certainly impressive. Aromatically the wine presents a beautiful ripe currant and dark berry quality, but there is a reserved earth and mineral character that makes this wine special and gives us the impression there are plenty of more expressions this wine will share over time.

Pine Ridge Vineyards

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

With meticulous attention to detail and a knowledge developed over 35 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 2010 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is a pure expression of the world-famous appellation. The majority of the winery's 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.

Presenting a bouquet that is both savory and sweet, this deep ruby wine expresses rich aromas of ripe, brambly blackberry, sweet red cherry and blackcurrant, enrobed by wisps of smoky oak, Oolong tea, dried sage leaf and dark chocolate mocha. Leading with vivid cherry and fresh raspberry fruits, the lush palate echoes with nuances of white pepper, maple-brown sugar and sweet basil, underscored by velvety tannins on the graceful finish.

Regusci Winery

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Regusci Winery 2010 Estate Cabernet: This is what Napa Valley exists for; dark, concentrated, intriguing, multi-layered and memorable cabernet sauvignon. The 2010 vintage brings a cooler year focus to the wines with all dark fruit notes and a bright, crisp approach. Aromatically charged with earth, smoke, blackberry, sandalwood, red current and baked spices, the initial nose on this wine is charged with concentration and complexity. The palate resolves into earthen black and red currant fruit, mocha and balanced, tart tannins, with a clean mineral finish. This is a wine that wants to sit at the dinner table, ready for a well-charred steak served straight from the grill. With a little patience however, the 2010 Regusci Estate Cabernet Sauvignon will reward careful cellaring with a finely tuned wine over the next 10 - 15 years.

Varietal: 96% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Estate Merlot

Robinson Family Vineyards

2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

"Gently nestled amidst the rugged terrain of the famed Stags Leap District, sits the piece of heaven that is Robinson Family Vineyards. Worlds apart from the corporately-held commercial wineries that now dominate the Napa Valley, we pride ourselves in our 'hands on' approach from vine to bottle with family members playing a critical role each step of the way," shares proprietor Susan Robinson Jinks.

This highly limited production of 74 cases of 2010 RESERVE Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which is handpicked from our Estate Vineyard during optimal conditions to ensure perfect balance and structure. Redwood and fresh fig notes dance about the nose of this wine, together they partner with Bing cherry fruit on the overall mouthfeel. The structure is masculine, supported by flavors of dark cola and clove. The finish resonates with vanilla and blueberry fruit. The bottles are individually numbered. This Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wine can be enjoyed now or cellared for many years!

Shafer Vineyards

2010 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

One Point Five is an elegant, silky Cabernet that is lush and delicious when young, yet offers tantalizing rewards with cellar aging. 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. Uncork the 2010 vintage and you will discover enticing aromas of crushed red and black berries fill the glass along with more delicate layers of sage, vanilla, cedar, and tobacco leaf. In the mouth the herbs and fruit are nicely integrated within a structure of ripe Stags Leap District tannins. The finish is lingering and pleasurable, inviting yet another taste.

Silverado Vineyards

2010 SOLO, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

1888 saw the first plantings of vinifera vines on the Silverado Vineyard. Eighty years later, the site continued its pioneering tradition, becoming one of the first properties planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in what would later become the Stags Leap District. Fruit from this vineyard helped establish the area's reputation for great Cabernet throughout the 1970s.

Today, the Miller family honors this iconic vineyard with SOLO. The wine is a unique expression of the Silverado Clone, which developed here on our rocky terraces and became one of only three California Heritage Cabernets designated by the University of California at Davis — the only one from the Stags Leap District. SOLO displays all the ripe and complex fruit, supple texture and solid structure that helped define the District.

The 2010 SOLO opens to an aroma of intensely perfumed violets and berries. Bright fruit and savory spices on the palate lead to a structured, medium long finish that will continue to please in the future.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2010 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. Nearly 80% of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2010 blend comes from blocks in the lower and middle sections of the FAY vineyard, which give the wine its classic red-fruit tones and aromatic top notes. The balance was sourced from the upper section (eastern blocks) of FAY, which tends to be more powerful and lends 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."

This wine opens with vibrant blackberry compote, black cherry and dark chocolate aromas that lead into the signature bright cherry note of the vineyard. The aromas are followed by rich dark berry and plum flavors with enticing hints of French vanilla and sage. On the palate, the wine has a full entry with fine-grained tannins and a smooth texture. Enjoy this estate- grown cabernet with braised short-ribs with grilled polenta or roast chicken with tarragon and sage.

Stags' Leap Winery

2010 The Leap Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with the Stags Leap District and has always been a mainstay in the winemaking program at Stags' Leap Winery. The Leap is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from select blocks within our Stags' Leap Winery estate vineyard. This singular expanse of earth tucked up against the eastern palisades of Napa Valley features thin, rocky soils in its upper reaches, giving way to finer-grained loamy soils at its floor. The heat-reflecting palisades, with their towering rocky crags, provide consistent warmth over the estate and help balance the cooling breezes from the south. This pronounced micro-climate is remarkably well-suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of distinction.

Refined and elegant, our 2010 The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon opens with an alluring aromatic bouquet of black plum compote, black cherry, black raspberry and forest floor, and a welcomed hint of cocoa powder. On the palate, a lushness of rich, dark fruit arises from the cooler vintage, and the flavors are later enhanced by intriguing dusty notes of pepper. With distinct, fine tannins, this estate Cabernet still remains pleasantly silky and complex, and exhibits the iconic power and longevity that have become synonymous with The Leap.

Taylor Family Vineyards

2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The 2010 Taylor Family Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon returns with true Stags Leap District terroir and classic winemaking: an expression of power and grace. The bouquet leads with dark cherry, sweet leaf tobacco, cassis, vanilla and mocha integrated with spice while complementing the supple, soft, silky tannins and rich layers of cherry and cassis. The long lasting finish offers cocoa and leaf tobacco. Enjoy the 2010 Reserve now, although patient cellaring will add additional elegance and finesse.

Composition: 100% Cabernet
Alcohol: 14.3%
Release Date: Fall 2014
Production: 185 cases

Terlato Family Vineyards

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District

The Terlato family is dedicated to producing extraordinary wines from California's most esteemed appellations. This wine comes from the Stags Leap District, recognized as one of the finest locations in the world for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Unlike other warmer areas of the Napa Valley, the distinctive palisades of the Stags Leap District create a funneling effect that draws in cool marine air in the late afternoons, which helps produce lush, elegant, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignons that rival the world's greatest wines. The 2010 vintage aroma profile is highlighted with aromas of blackberry and cassis, toffee and a hint of vanilla. The structure of the wine is quite showy, with ample tannin but just enough elegance to showcase its unmistakable Stags Leap District character.