The 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and dark, with an abundance of blackberry, cherry and dark plum alongside nuances of lifted violet, sweet cinnamon and clove spice. On the palate, the dark berry fruits proliferate with blackberry, plum and cassis, but there is also a beautiful savory quality exhibiting notes of leather, tobacco and earth, giving this Cabernet a classic old-world feel and elegance. Seamlessly integrated oak and refined tannins provide a smooth mouthfeel and add layers of complexity, all wrapping up with a spicy lengthy finish. Incredibly approachable and pleasing upon release, this wine is sure to dazzle and pair well alongside many culinary treats.
Cabernet Sauvignon is synonymous with Napa Valley and has always been a mainstay in the winemaking program at Stags’ Leap Winery. Our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a combination of estate fruit and grapes from select Napa Valley growers with a focus on sourcing from the valley floor. Winemaker Christophe Paubert selects fruit that is similar in expression to the grapes from the Stags’ Leap estate, avoiding fruit from areas he considers to be too warm and instead sourcing grapes from the southern part of Napa Valley, where the climate is cooler. This strategic sourcing ensures the focus and character for which Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignons are known.
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 of wonderful quality.
The first several weeks of a wine’s life are crucial. While the grapes for this wine were undergoing fermentation and maceration, Christophe and his team tasted and tested each lot daily to determine the pump overs regime, how much air the wine needed, and the best temperature to optimize maceration and extraction. After pressing off the skins, 37% of the wine went into new French oak barrels while the remainder went to seasoned French oak; this combination preserves freshness and gives the fruit more room to express itself. The wine aged for 20 months prior to bottling.