Only in meritorious vintages do we choose the most distinctive grapes from S.L.V. and Fay, our two estate vineyards in the Stags Leap District, and use them to create Cask 23, a proprietary red wine blend expressing exceptional elegance. Although S.L.V. and Fay adjoin each other, the two vineyards experience different growing conditions and produce Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with different flavor characteristics. The volcanic soils of S.L.V., of Paris Tasting fame, yield complex, multi-layered Bordeaux-like fruit elements, while the alluvial soils of Fay produce lush perfumes and berry flavors. Combining the "fire" of S.L.V. and the "water" of Fay can yield a wine of dynamic complexity.
Aromas of roses and violets rise up in the glass, followed by cassis, plums, and blackberries, opening into clove, cinnamon and even a hint of tobacco. The palate is filled with sensations of black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, and candied orange peel in dark, dark chocolate. Tannins and acidity are there, but only as supporting structure that remains very much in the background. Serve with a well-aged steak topped with Béarnaise or a rich cheese-and-mushroom tart in flaky pastry.