Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is America’s top vineyard – chosen because of their historic commitment to good wine making, current wine offerings and beauty of their operations in the Stag’s Leap area of Napa Valley. A first growth estate in the area, the vineyards date back to 1970. And, which grape was planted first? Cabernet Sauvignon, of course. Today, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is known for their cabernet – delicious varieties looked after by master winemaker Marcus Notaro. And, he tends to some of the vineyards’ most iconic wines – namely S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon (1972) and Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon (2001).
Speaking with Mr. Notaro about the history of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, his role in preserving vineyard favorites and cultivating new varieties – there were many moments that led me to appreciate all that goes into the wines here. His way of describing the team’s work ethic, collaboration and knowledge of the weather and soil – it’s all very astounding.
One favorite of the public who are familiar with the vineyard, is Artemis. Artemis was created in 2001 and was named after the Greek goddess of the hunt – due to the “hunting” for grapes in various areas of the vineyard and elsewhere. Consistently ranked as one of the top Cabernets from California, you might observe aromas of dark cherry and berry fruit as well as sweet vanilla. The wine is smooth and rich, and leaves tastes of dark cherry and cacao on your tongue.
S.L.V., one of the oldest wines established, is a Cabernet with aromas of cacao, graphite and blackberry. Dark chocolate and dark berries are the primary tasting notes – with rich, dark tannins. It’s part of the vineyard’s Estate Collection, which features three distinct wines that come from various areas of the vineyards on property.
Aside from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ incredible Cabernet Sauvignons, they also offer delicious Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from their Napa Valley Collection. The Karia Chardonnay opens-up with aromas of honeysuckle, white peach and pear. Mineral and lemon zest finish-off medium-bodied flavors of cream and tropical fruit.
Mr. Notaro speaks highly of the vineyard that was there before him and his privilege of tending to it now with the help of his team. Stag’s leap Wine Cellars purchased the Fay vineyard, which belonged to their neighbor and friend, Nathan Fay. Now, the property spreads over acres and acres, and each acre has meaning and holds its own amongst the next acre.
As a visitor here, you can stop-in to the beautiful tasting room and sample the fruits of the team’s labor, from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you’re not near Napa, you can purchase the wines at your local well-curated wine store, or join the vineyard’s wine club for regular shipments. But, a trip to Napa, sometime in the near future, is in order. You just can’t miss these wines.
Photo Credit: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars