The 2017 Napa Valley Malbec is dark and alluring with intense notes of fresh blueberry, acai berry and black cherry, alongside hints of white pepper and wild rose petal. The mouthfeel is plush and juicy with dark raspberries, hints of floral violet, accompanied by savory notes of pepper and spice. Finishing with darker notes of plum and milk chocolate, the depth and complexity of the wine blends together seamlessly on the palate supported by fine well-integrated tannins. Rejuvenate yourself with this limited bottling elixir and allow its voluptuous fruit flavors to transport on a journey of freshness, structure and balance, while you’re enveloped in the round, lush texture.
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 Malbec with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
The Malbec grapes for this bottling are sourced from Oakville and the Carneros AVAs. Sourcing from these more southerly appellations within Napa Valley provide a more moderate, cooler maritime influence compared to vineyards further up valley. Here the soils are mainly gravelly silt loams, sedimentary in origin and gravelly alluvial soils with rock, moderately fertile, producing a Malbec that is bright and fresh with vibrant acidity, alongside the typical plush dark fruit characteristics.
Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple methods to show how this rare variety can excel in Napa Valley. The wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels (50%) and in stainless steel tanks for 18 months. The usage of stainless steel allowed the wine to broadcast and preserve the purity and freshness of the Malbec fruit.
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.