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Date Printed: 4/25/2015
Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2003
Stags' Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2003
(search item no. 89220)
collectible wine

PRICE ON 4/25/2015: $34.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2011 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2011 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1999 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Petite Syrah is a wine that has become synonymous with Stags' Leap. Over the years they've developed long-standing partnerships with Petite Syrah growers up and down the valley, and nurtured their own 70-year-old Petite Syrah estate vineyard, planted on deep, rocky soils. This wine benefits from that diversity, as well as from the mélange of varieties that add to the final blend. This classic red is inky black, and is as complex as it is powerful.

The late harvest of 2003 ensured full phenolic maturity in Stags' Leap's Petite Syrah vineyards. The grapes were hand-picked in October and fermented in a combination of open and closed-top fermenters, maximizing the concentration and extraction of the finished wine. Nineteen months of ageing in mostly neutral oak barrels allows the wine to find its center as the varietal mix combines Petite Syrah with Syrah, Viognier, Carignane, Mourvedre and Grenache.

From the look of the wine, you'd expect it to be massive on the palate, but one of the pleasures of Stags' Leap Petite Syrah is its finesse and elegance. This is an unusually complex and layered vintage. The nose teems with blackberries, red currants, cut hay, and burnt oranges. On the palate this sensuous wine is a mouthful of rich bitter chocolate, French vanilla, and raspberries wrapped in round, sappy tannins. It's at once fascinating and intriguing, leaving you with a reverberating finish.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Stags' Leap Winery:

About Stags' Leap Winery:

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 known as one of the prominent country retreats in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. In addition to lodging and dining, amenities included lawn tennis, swimming, horseback riding, children's activities, golf, music, cards, a library, and Napa Valley wines and liquors (prior to and after Prohibition).

An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.