Defines Tchelistcheff’s iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove description of Stags Leap District Cabernets. Seductively soft, a wine that caresses the palate with gentle tannins and sweet, creamy oak, framing ripe blackcurrant fruit and rich spice. The power is in the focus, brilliance and overall purity.
Structured and built for the long haul, the densely packed aromatics hint at the power within. Blackberry, earth, fruitcake and cinnamon are all there, and the palate delivers a similar mix with added coffee, cocoa and licorice elements. Great texture and weight, and a lengthy finish with dry, even tannins. Best if cellared four to six years, and will keep for ages.
From a winery long associated with Petite Sirah. Deeply colored and absolutely terrific. The aromas include blackberries, smoked meat, nutmeg, white pepper and candied fruits. Flavors are huge, and run to the ripest berries. Tannins are considerable-this wine requires aging.
And the Oscar for the darkest wine of the year goes to…Stags’ Leap! Black as a moonless midnight, and one whiff sends you to heaven. Plums, blackberries, oak, all the right stuff. Sheer lusciousness, big, rich and unctuous, fruity, rich and dry. Terrific now with game and roasts, but you can age it forever.
A stunning success for its wonderfully extracted, complex mélange of blackberry, cassis, sweet anise, plum and cured tobacco. That’s what rigorous selection can accomplish in a so-so vintage. The flavors are wrapped in the rich, sweet tannins and balanced acids you’d expect from this appellation. Might age, but best now through next year.
This is a seriously good Merlot. They got the fruit gorgeously ripe so that it bursts with sunny cassis and cherry flavor, and then they drenched it with high-end toasted oak. Near-perfect tannins, and just-right acidity provide the finishing touches. Elegant.
Dark, ripe and rich—classic Napa Cab. It’s young and tight now, of course, with jammy black-currant fruit and sweet oak, and the tannins are finely etched, but firm. Finishes with concentrated blackberry fruit, but dry and raspy right now. The stuffing and balance are there for it to develop into a beautiful wine.
Quite fragrant, with hints of toast, honeysuckle and white peach. The wine is richly textured with velvety nuances and pretty fig, apricot and mineral notes. Finishes long and lemony.