“This is a classic-styled cabernet from Stags’ Leap with wonderful polish and finesse. It’s all here, caressing your palate with currants and dark chocolate and pine nut undertones. Extremely long. Better after 2021.” - James Suckling, February 2020
“Lastly, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Leap offers classic red and black currant fruits intermixed with plenty of lead pencil, dried herbs, and cedary nuances. It's medium-bodied, has good depth of fruit, integrated acidity, and a good finish." - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2020
“Christophe Paubert blends this wine from a range of estate blocks, the vines tucked up against the Stags Leap escarpment. He vinifies the blocks separately, then creates this barrel selection, his top cabernet, just before bottling. It’s fresh and fragrant in 2016, with the youthful energy the vines infused into their fruit when a long series of drought years had come to an end. The plump black fruit has the espresso richness of Stags Leap District cabernet, along with an earthy undertow. Powerful and refined, the wine seems to draw the vineyard’s volcanic rock into its lasting tannins." - Joshua Greene, May 2020
Our 2016 The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon captures the distinctive personality of our estate vineyard and this incredible vintage, crafting a darkly intense, multilayered, rich and approachable wine with depth of fruit, plushness and creamy richness. This wine is classic Stags Leap District Cabernet, offering blackberry, blueberry and macerated strawberry aromas on the nose, along with subtle baking spice notes of cinnamon, milk chocolate and coffee, alongside more savory notes of black olive and chaparral herbs. On the palate, there is elegance, freshness and complexity, showing lifted dark blackberry, blueberry and black raspberry fruits followed by hints of chocolate, espresso and black pepper spice. With big, round, mouth-pleasing tannins and a silky, smooth lithe texture, this Cabernet exhibits the iconic power and intensity that have become synonymous with Stags' Leap estate wines but drinks elegantly, demonstrating the opulence and grace of the estate.
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.
Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with Napa Valley and has always been a mainstay in the winemaking program at Stags' Leap Winery. The Leap is sourced from select Cabernet Sauvignon blocks within our Stags' Leap Winery estate vineyard that are twenty-five years old, on average. 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.
The Leap is a barrel selection, a blend of the best Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, lots and cooperages in a given vintage. Each lot undergoes a long, (almost month-long), maceration period which adds color, tannin and complexity of flavors to the Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, each lot was held separately in French oak barrels (54% new) for 20 months before Winemaker Christophe Paubert hand selected the most expressive of them to blend just prior to bottling. Keeping each block separate allows close monitoring of each individual lot through aging, maximizing the depth and potential of the estate vineyards.
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% French oak barrels (54% new) for 20 months|
|Blend||90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec|
|Case Production||5230 cases|