“This is an amazing field blend of grapes from ancient petite sirah and malbec vines, planted in 1929. Stunning. Full-bodied, layered and very intense, yet balanced and polished. So much wet earth and intensity. Drink now.” - James Suckling, February 2020
“This estate parcel, planted in 1929, is a mix of 16 varieties, though predominantly petite sirah. The variety and the block fascinate Christophe Paubert, the Frenchman who has been tending the vines and making the wine since 2009. This vintage shows its old-vine complexity in shades of black, from earth to rose to midnight purple fruit. It’s savory, with a formal structure, before the fruit sweetness begins to develop with air. Give this a decade in the cellar and its layered flavor will be more fully on display." - Joshua Greene, May 2020
“Surprisingly, the most expensive wine in the lineup isn't a Cabernet Sauvignon – it’s the 2016 Petite Sirah Ne Cede Malis, which comes all from the Stags Leap District. A big blueberry and currant nose is followed by a medium to full-bodied, rich, powerful wine that stays light on its feet, with good acidity, fine tannins, and a great finish. I suspect this impressive Petite Sirah will keep for 10-15 years." - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2020
Offering a distinctive wine each vintage, the 2016 Ne Cede Malis is elegant and rich with tremendous concentration and depth. The wine reveals layers of dark blackberry, blueberry and raspberry yogurt, interwoven with savory notes of delicate dried chaparral herbs like mint, lavender and sage, alongside an exotic black pepper spice. This single block blend is the simple, pure expression of this extraordinary vineyard, exhibiting a multilayered rich velvety texture highlighting the age and character of the oldest vines on our estate. extraordinary lengthy finish with plushness and opulence. Inviting in its youth but also meant for age-worthiness, decanting is suggested to allow the flavors to evolve and reveal their complexity and elegance.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acidity in each varietal and added additional complexity to the layers of flavors. This resulted in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor.
NE CEDE MALIS (pronounced Ne KAY Day Mah LEES) comes from the Latin phrase “Don’t give in to misfortune,” the family motto of Stags’ Leap founder Horace Chase. Sourced from the oldest block on our Estate with vines planted in 1929, the wine is predominantly Petite Sirah, though it includes at least 15 other varietals in small amounts. Year after year this gracefully aging block produces a small lot of wine – a truly unique field blend that simply could not be produced anywhere else.
Taking a minimalist approach Winemaker Christophe Paubert likes to say that he “guides” rather than “makes” Ne Cede Malis. The carefully tended head trained vines in this 5-acre single block include Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mourvedre, Grenache, Peloursin, Syrah and even Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc, among others. After hand picking, the grapes were co-fermented, undergoing a short maceration prior to aging in American oak barrels (30% new) for 14 months. The oak’s spiciness, which could overwhelm a delicate wine, is easily handled and helps enhance the strength and depth of this powerful variety.
For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California.
|Oak Treatment||100% American oak barrels (30% new) for 14 months|
|Blend||85% Petite Sirah and 15% other varieties|
|Case Production||500 cases|