Vintage 2016
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 2016 vintage, Christophe was inspired by the phenomenal Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot, and Malbec that nature offered him. Within the Winemaker’s Muse, Touriga Nacional provides incredibly aromatic lavender notes and smooth tannins. This year’s blend consists of primarily Touriga Nacional and Petit Verdot with a small portion of Malbec blended in for balance.

Tasting Notes

This non-traditional blend has a beautifully expressive bouquet with notes of blackberry, black pepper and lavender, alongside savory, herbaceous notes of fresh leather, cigar, tobacco and sweet baking spices. Fresh and lively, the wine is juicy and rich on the palate offering dark blackberry, prune, boysenberry, wild raspberry and dark earthy notes. Made intentionally to enjoy in its youth, this wine is fun and bright brimming with mouthwatering acidity and lengthy finish.

Vineyard Notes

The Touriga Nacional was sourced from grapes grown in vineyards located in Calistoga in northern Napa Valley. Here, the vines experience dramatic diurnal temperature swings with hot days and very cool evening. There is a wide range of soil types and this vineyard is home to some of the most diverse set of vine plantings within Napa, including Touriga Nacional, Tempranillo, Charbono, Marsanne and many more. The devotion to farming at this vineyard site is rewarded year after year with expressive and richly flavored grapes. Grapes from estate vineyards in Oakville provided the Petit Verdot. This fruit intensifies and broadens the wine’s profile allowing for floral, spice and dark blue and black fruit characteristics to come through. Malbec flourishes in very particular areas and is a significant part of the historic blends at Stags’ Leap. This wine captures the variety’s powerful fruit and spicy characteristics, and is sourced from the D’Ambrosio vineyard in Yountville.

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 wines with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors and layers of complexity.

Winemaking Notes

Winemaker Christophe Paubert practiced simple methods to highlight each varietal’s unique characteristics in this blend and bring forward the pleasing aromatics of each varietal. The grapes for this wine underwent a 2 week maceration period designed to pull flavor, color and tannin from the skins. Once the final blend was assembled, the wine was aged in French Oak barrels (45% new) for 18 months to enhance the layers and complexity of the wine, as well as contribute a light spiced note.