95 points - Wine Advocate
“Another extraordinary wine is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Audentia. This is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petite Sirah aged 20 months in a combination of new and neutral French oak. A very expensive wine, there are only 638 cases of it; this is meant for long-term cellaring for collectors. Notes of tobacco leaf, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, roasted coffee and spring flowers all jump from the glass of this powerful, rich wine that is singular in style and character.” - Robert Parker, March 3, 2016
95 points - Wine Advocate
“This wine showcases the producer's prowess with two varieties, adding 25% Petite Sirah into the mix. Woody, funky earth meets tobacco and black tea while firm, soft tannins provide structure and luxury. A generous helping of chocolate adds warmth to the flavors.” - Virginie Boone, December 2016
Unique to the Stags’ Leap Estate, this specific Petite Sirah block maintains the wonderful, highly concentrated black fruit flavors and power that are beloved of the varietal without the dominant spice and floral notes. This allows the Petite Sirah to be a wonderful counterpart to Cabernet Sauvignon, extracting power, richness and elegance from the varietal without diverting Cabernet from its essence. Blending this exceptional Petite Sirah with the hand selected lots of the Estate’s most distinctive Cabernet, the assemblage pushes Cabernet Sauvignon to a new level of power and concentration while still maintaining the winery’s signature touch of elegance.
Crafted in extremely limited quantities from each vintage’s highest achieving blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of our finest Petite Sirah, this wine is the ultimate expression of our estate’s distinctive terroir. The Cabernet lots for Audentia 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. The Petite Sirah was sourced exclusively from Block 9, which produces Petite Sirah with exceptional red and black fruit characteristics that we liken to Cabernet grapes. Contiguous to the historic Ne Cede Malis vineyard, Block 9 shares similar rocky soils to its neighboring block, yet produces fruit with traits unlike any other Petite Sirah. This mystical vineyard naturally produces half the yields of a typical block and the resulting fruit is incredibly concentrated with almost double the color and tannins than that of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2012 vintage will be remembered for its abundance of high-quality fruit. The season began with exceptional, moderate weather that brought virtually no harm to the grapes all the way through fruit-set, and the long, mild days continued well into the summer. A cooler-than-normal period hit at the end of September, which allowed for the preservation of ideal fruit aromatics, freshness and natural acidity.
To create a Cabernet Sauvignon that highlights the unique terroir of the Stags’ Leap’s estate vineyards, Winemaker Christophe Paubert kept each vineyard lot separate from initial picking until final blending. The wines were aged separately, Cabernet Sauvignon in French oak (60% new) for 20 months and Petite Sirah in neutral oak for 20 months. The final assemblage is a barrel selection of the most expressive lots that was blended just prior to bottling.
Varietal Composition: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petite Sirah