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2018 Stags' Leap Barrel Selection Carneros Chardonnay

2018 Stags' Leap Barrel Selection Carneros Chardonnay

2018 Stags' Leap Barrel Selection Carneros Chardonnay

Tasting Notes

Tasting Note

An elegant representation of the beautiful aromatics and flavor characteristics Chardonnay exhibits when the fruit is allowed to express itself from a cooler region within Napa Valley. The 2017 Barrel Selection Chardonnay shows lifted notes of candied lemon peel, honeysuckle, lightly toasted almond, marzipan and peach Tarte Tatin, which all come together in layers of mouthwatering complexity and depth. On the palate, you’ll find more citrus, lemon meringue, and hints of ginger spice, which all unfold into a luxurious, silky, vibrant and zingy mouthwatering finish. Exceptionally well-integrated oak enhances the nuanced spice complexity and elegant mouthfeel without overpowering the wine’s notable acidity. This Chardonnay invites you to sip, savor and repeat!

Technical Information

Varietal Chardonnay
Vintage 2018
Appellation Carneros
Blend 100% Chardonnay
Oak Treatment Fermented and aged in French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% used for 7 months
Alcohol % 13.7%
Enclosure Type Cork
Case Production 502 cases

Scores & Accolades

  • 93

    Wine Advocate

    “This 2018 Chardonnay Barrel Selection comes from the best of several blocks of Chardonnay in Carneros. It was fermented and aged in French oak, 50% new. The nose slowly unfurls to reveal notes of fresh grapefruit, green mango and white peaches with hints of lemon tart, shaved almonds and honeycomb. Medium-bodied, the palate offers a wonderfully satiny texture and racy line of freshness supporting the tightly knit citrus and stone fruit layers, finishing long and savory. 502 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW


Winemaking Note

The Barrel Selection Chardonnay is a small bottling of the most expressive barrel lots in a given vintage. 50% of the wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels and the remaining in neutral French oak. This specific barrel treatment helps preserve the purity and freshness of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity. The 2018 vintage, as usual, did not undergo malolactic fermentation to further maintain the fruit’s natural acidity and aromatic freshness. The wine was bottled after just seven months of maturation with a weekly batonnage (lees stirring), putting the yeast lees in suspension in order to release subtle aromatics, increasing the complexity and preventing reduction.

Christophe Paubert - Winemaker

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.


Vintage Note

The Napa Valley region enjoyed a stunning, near picture-perfect 2018 growing season including good winter rains, mild spring weather and steady temperatures throughout that allowed for even flowering and bud break. These ideal growing conditions were followed by a cool, even and slow-paced harvest which allowed the winery to vinify wines at a gentle pace. The resulting 2018 wines are of very high quality with lower alcohol, concentrated flavors, color and excellent acidity.


Carneros AVA


Vineyard Note

The 2018 Barrel Selection Chardonnay was crafted with grapes grown in the Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley, located along the seaside on the north side of the San Pablo Bay. Here maritime fogs roll across, blown in by cooling Pacific winds and then burned away again by the generous California sun, cooling these vineyards throughout the growing season, allowing for ideal preservation of acidity. Known for producing great wines, this undulating, gravelly bayside terrain continues to inspire exploration and discovery, and consistently produces Chardonnay ideal for our style of winemaking with crisp fruit flavors and bright acidity.

Winemaker Christophe Paubert

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