Vintage 2015
Wine Type Red
Varietal Red Wine Blend
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert
Each  year,  winemaker  Christophe  Paubert  finds  a  unique  surprise–a  varietal  expression  enhanced  through  exceptional  terroir  and  the  distinctive  weather  of  the  growing  season.  For  the  2015  vintage,  Christophe was inspired by the exceptional Malbec, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Viognier that nature offered him. This combination of varietals are very rarely blended together as they are not from the same traditional French growing regions associated with a classic Bordeaux assemblage, or a typical Rhone blend. 

Tasting Notes

This non-traditional blend has a beautiful aromatic expression with hints of white pepper, floral violet, gardenia, black currant, fresh strawberry and blackberry liqueur. Like an amplified Côtes du Rhône blend, this wine is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape lover’s dream, full and rich with mouth pleasing blackberry, plum and spiced floral notes. Finishing with a creamy caramel roundness, elegant tannins, and hints of vanilla spice. This wine is supple with lively acidity and balance, allowing it to be enjoyed now but will offer wonderful attributes when aged in your cellar.

Vineyard Notes

A significant part of historic blends at Stags’ Leap, Malbec flourishes in certain areas and this wine captures the variety’s powerful fruit and spicy characteristics. The Malbec grapes for this bottling are sourced from the Green Island Vineyards located south-east of Carneros, which is well suited to growing this regional rarity. The climate here has a cooler maritime influence compared to vineyards further up valley and the soils are Haire loams, with sand and gravel. Similarly, our Viognier is sourced from vineyards in the Oak Knoll and Carneros AVAs. Also located in the southern part of Napa Valley, these cooler vineyards are optimal for growing Viognier, providing sufficient sun exposure for ripening and cool marine fog for maintaining natural acidity.

Grapes from the vineyards located on our estate’s deep, rocky soils provide the Petite Sirah. This fruit intensifies and broadens the wine’s profile allowing for floral, spice and dark blue and black fruit characteristics to come through. The Syrah comes from Massa Ranch in Yountville which benefits from slightly cooler temperatures than the bench land or mountain fruit, where it’s typically found in the Napa Valley. Here the Syrah contributes great length alongside an appealing acidity.

Vintage Notes

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 Malbec, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Viognier of wonderful quality.

Winemaking Notes

Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple methods to highlight each varietal’s characteristics in this blend and promote the pleasing aromatics of each varietal. The grapes underwent a 2-week maceration period to pull flavor, color and tannin from the skins. Once the final blend was assembled, the wine aged in mature French Oak barrels 16 months to enhance the layers and complexity, as well as contribute a light spiced note.

Varietal Composition: 31% Malbec, 31% Petite Sirah, 31% Syrah, 2% Viognier, 5% Mixed Reds
ABV: 14.7%
Cases Produced: 436