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2018 Stags' Leap The Leap Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Stags' Leap The Leap Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Stags' Leap The Leap Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes

Tasting Note

Our 2018 The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon exemplifies the distinctive personality of our estate vineyard and this extraordinary vintage, offering dark, alluring, layered intensity with notes of black berry fruit alongside a rich, mouth-enveloping texture. This wine is classic Stags Leap District Cabernet, offering aromas and flavors of blackcurrant, cassis, dark raspberry and black cherry alongside delicate notes of cedar, allspice, graphite and espresso, backed up by more savory notes of olive tapenade and chaparral herbs. There is depth, finesse and elegance, interweaving power, grace and structure, full of velvety rich tannins and a long, lingering fresh finish. The texture is plentiful and mouth-filling, while the intensity is softened by the terroir elements coming through from the balance, delicacy and grace that has become synonymous with Stags’ Leap estate wines. Drinking beautifully now but exhibits the opulence and structure of the estate, that allows this Cabernet to age for many years to come.

Technical Information

Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 2018
Appellation Napa Valley
Blend 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot
Oak Treatment 100% French oak barrels (60% new) for 20 months
Alcohol % 14.1%
Enclosure Type Cork

Scores & Accolades

  • 94+

    Wine Advocate

    “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon The Leap is blended of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it starts off a little closed and broody, giving way to notes of plum preserves, blackcurrant cordial and chocolate-covered cherries, plus hints of unsmoked cigars and black truffles. Medium-bodied, elegant and refreshing, it has lots of tightly wound black fruit and earthy layers with a firm, fine-grained frame and long mineral-laced finish.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, November 30, 2021

  • 93

    Wine & Spirits

    “Christophe Paubert tends 85 acres of vines directly under the Stags’ Leap escarpment, selecting this wine from lots he finds to be the most expressive of the site. This vintage has the particular kind of stinky reduction of a wine grown in rocky volcanic soils, opening with air to boysenberry flavors, forest blackberry and violet notes. The reduction points up the wine’s energy even as it grows more elastic, driving through hard tannins to last on a long, savory fruit finish.” - Joshua Greene, December 2021

  • 96

    “Aromas of ripe blackcurrants, blackberries, licorice, cloves and tobacco. Hints of crushed stones and nut shells, too. Firm and chewy with full body and layers of fine, velvety tannins. Compact and muscular with an array of spiced, mellow fruit and a chocolatey finish. Needs some time to soften more. Try after 2024.” - James Suckling, February 2022



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 (60% 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.

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.



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.


Stags Leap AVA

Stags Leap


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.

Winemaker Christophe Paubert

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