“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Audentia Estate is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Sirah and 9% Petit Verdot, aged for 20 months in French oak, 69% new. Very deep purple-black colored, it slips sensuously out of the glass with notes of ripe wild blueberries, black cherries, mulberries and cassis plus suggestions of cigar box, menthol, pencil shavings, smoked meats and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is taut and packed with muscular black fruit, framed by fantastic freshness and firm, finely grained tannins. It finishes with loads of long-lingering exotic spice, savory and mineral layers. 800 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
“Currants, black cherries, cloves, dried leaves and flowers on the nose. Hints of walnuts and chocolate orange, too. Some conifer. It’s full-bodied with firm, seamlessly integrated tannins and fresh acidity. Creamy texture. Rich flavors, yet wonderfully balanced. Even better from 2024.” - James Suckling, January 2021
Our 2017 Audentia is the embodiment of the distinctive personality of our estate vineyard, crafting a wine of immense concentration, power and complexity. Intense, multilayered, rich and opulent, filled with incredible depth of color, balance and energy. There are lush dark berry flavors on the nose and palate, with black currant, blackberry and blueberry compote notes alongside saturated black cherry and dark plum. Secondary notes of floral violet, star anise and clove also come through, a nod to the well-integrated subtle oak ageing. The wine is big, dark and robust with mouth-coating fine-grained tannins leading to a dark chocolate, cocoa-powder savory finish with mouthwatering acidity and a lifted subtle fresh mint character. Unctuous and powerful, showcasing the iconic intensity and longevity that have become synonymous with Stags’ Leap estate wines. Drinking beautifully now and will continue to age for the next 25+ years, due to the quality of the tannins and the fruit.
The 2017 vintage in the Napa Valley was smaller yielding but high in quality. The region enjoyed much needed rain during the winter months ending the drought. A short period of warmer than usual temperatures during Labor Day weekend accelerated harvest for early ripening grape varieties, resulting in an intense and, at times, unpredictable harvest. Though yields were lower than usual, the wines show exceptional flavor intensity and conditions were perfect for producing a wine with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot in this extraordinary estate wine highlights the rich heritage of the property, and natural lineage of the Estate, as well as the balance of power and finesse between each of these varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon has a longstanding history as the Stags Leap District’s signature varietal, and the district’s unique location, where erosion from the palisades has become the source of its volcanic soils, creating a distinctive characteristic, now synonymous with the modern reputation for Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignons. Cabernet lots were hand-selected from a singular expanse of our estate vineyards that features thin, rocky soils in its upper reaches, giving way to finer-grained loamy soils at its floor.
Sourced entirely from 25-38 year old vines on our Stags Leap estate, the Petite Sirah was sourced exclusively from block 9, long known as one of the winery’s highest-performing blocks that delivers each year with deep blue and red fruit we liken to Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Petit Verdot, known for its color, floral flavor intensity and tannin profile, is also sourced from our estate vines. The combination of these varietals results in a blend that’s both powerful and concentrated, balanced and elegant. Special care was made in preserving purity of fruit and selecting Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot that would strengthen without overpowering the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grapes for the blend are hand-picked in the vineyard and hand-sorted at the winery and fermented in a combination of small, closed tanks and 500-liter oak barrels, called puncheons, which brings even more concentration while enhancing the tannins softness. Additionally, the lots undergo a lengthy, almost month-long, maceration period which adds color, tannin and complexity of flavors to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.
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 (69% new) for 20 months|
|Blend||82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Sirah, 9% Petit Verdot|