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The Estate Reserve Merlot is the first to be released under the Stags' Leap estate program. The devastation of the vineyards by phylloxera over a decade ago forced, and inspired, Brittan to replant the entire vineyard, block by block carefully selecting the clones, rootstock, and vine spacings that would coax the very best qualities out of each unique site on the estate. Now that the vines are coming into full maturity he has been able to produce intense and complex wines which show the true potential of this historic estate.
"There is a ripeness and concentration to this wine that represents a new style for us," says winemaker Robert Brittan. "Although elegantly structured, the wine has lots of extraction and a new level of density. But it still has the briary character that I think of as the hallmark of Stags' Leap Merlot, layered with aromas of fresh and dried herbs and flavors of black cherry, raspberry jam, lemon grass and Belgian hot cocoa. It is truly a wine with a sense of place."
A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century, popular with Hollywood due to its 1892 stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags' Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was...Read More About Stags' Leap Winery
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...Read More About Napa Valley
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...Read More About Merlot
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