Our 2015 Audentia exhibits the distinctive personality of our estate vineyard, crafting a wine of immense concentration and complexity. Intense, multilayered, rich and indulgent, with incredible depth of color and balance. On the nose and palate there are flavors of dark blackberry, black cherry, cassis, black currant and violets backed up by well-integrated subtle oak notes of vanilla, white pepper spice and caramel. With silky sinuous velvety rich tannins, this wine is unctuous, showcasing the iconic power and longevity that have become synonymous with Stags’ Leap estate wines. Drinking beautifully now and will continue to age for the next 25+ years, if you can keep your hands off it.
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. Additionally, the lots undergo a long, (almost month-long), maceration period which adds color, tannin and complexity of flavors to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.
The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah in this extraordinary estate wine highlights the rich heritage of the property, and natural lineage of the Estate, as well as the balance of power and finesse between these varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon has a longstanding history as the Stags Leap District’s signature varietal, and the district’s unique location where erosion from the palisades has become the source of its volcanic soils, creates a distinctive characteristic, now synonymous with the modern reputation for Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignons. 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, 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 without overpowering the Cabernet Sauvignon. The provocative varietal was planted on the property before the winery was established in 1893, and today it remains integral to the Estate’s winemaking legacy and fan devotees.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage resulted in a less abundant crop, but the quality remained exceptional. The mild, dry spring conditions promoted an early bud-break and minimal heat during summer allowed the fruit to ripen at a steady pace through picking, which began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor, making the overall season ideal for producing Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah of wonderful quality.