Reflective of the winery’s ability to combine power with elegance, the 2017 Investor is plush and inviting, with intense dark blackberry, black cherry, wild plum alongside baking spice notes of cinnamon and clove. Alluring notes of black pepper, cedar and violet are supported by savory nuances of chaparral brush, showing hints of fresh thyme, lavender and sage. The expansive mouthfeel is rich and generous with chewy, firm tannins that warm and coat the palate leading to an incredibly lengthy finish with ripe, mouthwatering acidity. Enjoyable now and can be cellared for 5-10 years.
The Investor is a red wine that beautifully blends together the unique flavors and expressions of Merlot, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, resulting in a powerful, yet approachable assemblage with significant fruit presence. The Merlot contributes fresh red berry aromatics and a soft, velvety texture to balance the power of Petite Sirah, which adds concentration, tannins, spice and blueberry flavors. The Cabernet Sauvignon further increases the final blend’s complexity and depth and the Malbec’s incredibly vibrant floral aromatics heighten the blend’s freshness. The majority of the Petite Sirah fruit comes from estate vineyards in Oakville, and additional fruit is sourced from a diverse selection of northern and southern Napa Valley vineyards to broaden the wine’s floral and spicy characteristics. The Merlot is grown on the Stags’ Leap estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District, and a selection of southern valley floor Cabernet Sauvignon fruit makes up the balance of the blend.
The 2017 vintage in the Napa Valley was smaller yielding but high in quality. The region enjoyed much needed rain during the winter months ending the drought. A short period of warmer than usual temperatures during Labor Day weekend accelerated harvest for early ripening grapes varieties, resulting in an intense and, at times, unpredictable harvest. Though yields were lower than usual, the wines show exceptional flavor intensity and conditions were perfect for producing a wine with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
Maceration and fermentation followed suit for each of the varieties, which allowed winemaker Christophe Paubert to monitor and evaluate each lot individually, coaxing each varietal to its maximum potential. The wine aged in oak for 20 months - the Petite Sirah in American oak barrels (25% new) while the Bordeaux varieties go to French oak (35% new). The final assemblage was blended just prior to bottling.