"Linear and tight chardonnay with sliced apple and lemon. Pear and mineral undertones, too. Medium to full body, firm acidity and freshness. Crisp. Only 25% new oak. Pretty vivid. Drink now.” - James Suckling
“The 2019 Chardonnay was aged for seven months in 30% stainless steel, 17% new oak and 53% neutral oak. It comes sailing effortlessly out of the glass with notes of ripe yellow apple, fresh apricots and warm pears with hints of allspice, honey toast and paraffin wax. The medium-bodied palate is crisp, clean and refreshing with loads of citrusy accents and a spiced apple finish. 62,948 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
The boisterous bouquet invites you in with lively aromas of delicate Meyer lemon, orange blossom, fresh white peach and delicate honeysuckle, supported by more subtle notes of Tarte Tatin and brioche toast (a nod to the well-integrated French Oak). Fresh, vibrant and mouthwatering, the palate is crisp with layers of ripe Golden Delicious apple, guava and warm Asian pear, backed up by a luscious texture that is rich and balanced (hinting at the delicate batonnage lees stirring that occurs during the winemaking process). Well-integrated notes of vanilla, allspice and crème brûlée lead to a lengthy finish that is full and bright. Maintaining a core of fresh acidity, this Chardonnay is graceful and elegant, full of depth and complexity.
The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. The grapes ripened nicely with beautiful maturity and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, vibrant acidity and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. Wildfires in October did not impact this year’s harvest as the vast majority of the grapes were already brought in, resulting in a crop size pretty much on par with previous years. The resulting 2019 wines are of very high quality with concentrated flavors and excellent acidity, especially for varieties like Chardonnay.
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.