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2018 Stags' Leap Winemaker's Muse Napa Valley Petit Verdot

2018 Stags' Leap Winemaker's Muse Napa Valley Petit Verdot

2018 Stags' Leap Winemaker's Muse Napa Valley Petit Verdot



Each year, winemaker Christophe Paubert finds an amusing surprise - varietals or vineyards that exceed expectation. This vintage was ideal to create a classic southern Rhone-style assemblage.

Wine & Vintage Details

Tasting Note

This powerful expression of “the muse” is rich, dark and robust with lovely floral violet notes alongside hints of fresh chaparral herbs and macerated dark berry fruits supported by spiced notes of black pepper and clove, a nod to the seamless oak integration. Plush, dark and dense, this Petit Verdot offers thirst quenching flavors of ripe dark plum, blackberry preserves, black cherry compote, interwoven with darker espresso, anise and graphite notes on the long, intense finish with velvety rich tannins. This wine has a saturating dark fruit profile but there is also a lifted savory-ness and lively acidity to balance the wine, keeping it supple and elegant with tons of power and finesse. Perfect to pair with smoked meats and grilled steaks, but also quite enjoyable on its own. Allow the wine to breathe in a decanter or large Bordeaux glass for optimal enjoyment, or laydown in your cellar to enjoy as it evolves over the years to come.


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.

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Napa Valley AVA

Napa Valley


The Petit Verdot is sourced from our estate vineyards near St. Helena in the northern most area of Napa Valley. A warmer micro-climate within the valley, fruit from this estate vineyard intensifies and broadens the wine’s profile allowing for floral, spice and dark blue and black fruit characteristics to come through. Perfect for growing Bordeaux varietals planted in this region, and were especially beneficial for our Petit Verdot. Our Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from select vineyards throughout Napa Valley, where summer mornings heat up to warm afternoons and then the evening cools down with gentle coastal breezes, allowing Cabernet Sauvignon, which is planted on well drained, gravelly soil to produce rich, dark fruit of the highest quality.


Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple methods to highlight the Petit Verdot’s unique characteristics in this wine to bring forward the pleasing aromatics, color and tannin profile, which Petit Verdot is known for. The grapes for this wine undergo a brief maceration period (much shorter than the usual two weeks because of the innate structure and power within Petit Verdot), designed to gently extract flavor, color and tannin from the skins. The wine was aged in French Oak barrels (30% new) for 20 months to enhance the layers and complexity of the wine, as well as contribute a light spiced note. A small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is added to brighten the fruit profile within the wine. Then, the wine is bottled for further maturation in bottle to create the perfect balance and harmony for this vintage of the winemaker’s muse.

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.

Winemaker Christophe Paubert

Alcohol % 14.2%
Enclosure Type Cork
Oak Treatment 100% French oak barrels (30% new) for 20 months
Blend 97% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
Case Production 534

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