Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Lots of purple fruit with raspberries and blackberries follow through to a medium to full body with chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften. Try after 2023.
Barrel Sample: 89-91
Situated on the famed Silverado Trail in Napa Valley's renowned Stags Leap District, Chimney Rock is recognized as one of the world's premier fine wine producers. Chimney Rock was established in 1984 with the goal of creating wines that would compete against the best Bordeaux. The estate's location in the Stags Leap District, Napa Valley's smallest and most acclaimed sub-appellation, allows winemaker, Elizabeth Vianna to capture this unique terroir and create wines that rival the most important wines of the world. Chimney Rock is a Terlato Family winery and embodies the family's dedication to producing wines of exceptional quality.
Legend has it that quick and nimble stags would escape the indigenous hunters of southern Napa Valley through the landmark palisades that sit just northeast of the current city of Napa. As a result, the area was given the name, Stags Leap. While its grape-growing history dates back to the mid-1800s, winemaking didn’t really take off until the mid-1970s after a small but pivotal blind tasting called the Judgement of Paris.
When a 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon won first place against its high-profile Bordeaux contenders, like Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Haut-Brion, international attention to the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley escalated rapidly.
The vineyards in this one-of-a-kind wine growing region receive hot afternoon air reflecting off of its eastern palisade formation. In combination with the cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay just south, this becomes an optimal environment for grape growing. While many varieties could thrive here, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominate with virtually no others, save for a spot or two of Syrah.
Stags Leap soils—eroded volcanic and old river sediments—encourage well established root systems and result in complex, terroir-driven wines. Stags Leap District reds have a distinct sour cherry and black berry character with baking spice and dried earth aromas, and supple tannins.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.