“Sed Contra Audentior Ito” — “Always Push Harder” — is the second verse of the family moto of Stags’ Leap Winery’s co-founder Horace Chase. Audentia is crafted from the Estate’s most select Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah that push to produce the most expressive and distinct fruit. Winemaker Christophe Paubert drew on his curiosity to capture the essence of Stags’ Leap and all of its cherished nuances, hand-selecting only the finest lots and barrels for the unique blend.
The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah highlights the rich heritage of the property and natural lineage of the Estate, as well as the balance of power and finesse. Notable for its distinct combination of power and elegance, Cabernet Sauvignon has a longstanding history as the Stags Leap District’s signature varietal. The district’s unique location allows erosion from the palisades to be a matchless source of its volcanic soils, acknowledged as a distinctive factor to the modern reputation for Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignons. Petite Sirah was sourced exclusively from block 9, long known as one of the winery’s highest-performing blocks that delivers each year with deep blue and red fruit we liken to Cabernet Sauvignon. The combination of the two varietals results in a blend that’s both powerful and concentrated, balanced and elegant. Special care was made in preserving purity of fruit and selecting Petite Sirah that would strengthen – not overpower – the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2013 growing season was long and sunny, ideally suited for even ripening and full development of fresh, vibrant aromatics and rich, ripe tannins with concentrated focus. The relatively warm growing season coupled with a lengthy Indian summer provided perfect conditions to pick specific blocks at peak flavor and ideal sugar levels. Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2013 Audentia was harvested beginning on September 14th, and Petite Sirah was harvested beginning October 15th.
Cabernet lots were hand-selected from a singular expanse of our estate vineyards that features thin, rocky soils in its upper reaches, giving way to finer-grained loamy soils at its floor. Petite Sirah was sourced exclusively from Block 9, which produces Petite Sirah with exceptional red and black fruit characteristics.
Grapes for the blend are hand-picked in the vineyard and hand-sorted at the winery and fermented in a combination of small, closed tanks and 500-liter neutral oak barrels.
The Wine Advocate
94+ points - "A super selection of their best Cabernet Sauvignons includes the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Audentia Estate. This is a beauty, a classic example of this vintage with sweet tannin (and lots of it), intense, full-bodied, concentrated fruit, blackcurrants and blackberry, some licorice, camphor and a long, long finish. This is another long-distance proposition to be put away for 4-5 years and drunk over the following three decades." — Robert M. Parker, Jr.