Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Petite Sirah
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

While famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags’ Leap Winery has also gained high acclaim for its Petite Sirah.  The intriguing varietal was planted on the property before the winery was established in 1893, and today it remains an essential part of the Estate’s winemaking legacy.  Petite Sirah has become synonymous with Stags’ Leap and for decades has cultivated devote fans of the winery.  

NE CEDE MALIS (pronounced Ne KAY Day Mah LEES) comes from the Latin phrase “Don’t give in to misfortune,” the family motto of Stags’ Leap founder Horace Chase.

Tasting Notes

Offering a distinctive wine each vintage, the 2016 Ne Cede Malis is elegant and rich with tremendous concentration and depth. The wine reveals layers of dark blackberry, blueberry and raspberry yogurt, interwoven with savory notes of delicate dried chaparral herbs like mint, lavender and sage, alongside an exotic black pepper spice. This single block blend is the simple, pure expression of this extraordinary vineyard, exhibiting a multilayered rich velvety texture highlighting the age and character of the oldest vines on our estate. extraordinary lengthy finish with plushness and opulence. Inviting in its youth but also meant for age-worthiness, decanting is suggested to allow the flavors to evolve and reveal their complexity and elegance.

Vineyard Notes

Sourced from the oldest block on our Estate with vines planted in 1929, the wine is predominantly Petite Sirah, though it includes at least 15 other varietals in small amounts. Year after year this gracefully aging block produces a small lot of wine – a truly unique field blend that simply could not be produced anywhere else.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Petite Sirah with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

Winemaking Notes

Taking a minimalist approach Winemaker Christophe Paubert likes to say that he “guides” rather than “makes” Ne Cede Malis. The carefully tended head trained vines in this 5-acre single block include Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mourvedre, Grenache, Peloursin, Syrah and even Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc, among others. After hand picking, the grapes were co-fermented, undergoing a short maceration prior to aging in American oak barrels (30% new) for 14 months. The oak’s spiciness, which could overwhelm a delicate wine, is easily handled and helps enhance the strength and depth of this powerful variety.

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