Cliff Lede Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Lastly, the flagship is the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry, which checks in as 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, and 4% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that's all from a site in Stags Leap. Lots of pure crème de cassis, ripe black raspberries, flowers, spice box, and chalky minerality emerge on the nose, and it hits the palate with a refined, full-bodied, incredibly polished style that brings serious intensity, yet with no sensation of weight or heaviness. It's brilliant today, but it really deserves 3-4 years of bottle age, and as with all of the wines here, it is going to evolve gracefully for 20+ years. 1471 cases. Best after 2025. Rating: 97+
Cliff Lede Vineyards was established in 2002 by Canadian born Bordeaux enthusiast, Cliff Lede, following the acquisition of a sixty acre estate in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. With a focus on producing wines from estate vineyards, Lede tapped David Abreu, considered the best viticulturist in Napa Valley, to replant the vineyards. Lede decided to name each vineyard block after some of his favorite rock songs and albums—from “My Generation” to “Dark Side of the Moon,” creating what is known today as the Cliff Lede Vineyards “Rock Blocks.”
In 2005, a state of the art, 25,000 square foot winery and cave system was etched into a hillside overlooking the estate vineyards. Not only did Cliff create a beautiful property, he also assembled an unrivaled team that shares his passion for quality. Today, Winemaker Christopher Tynan crafts Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, with the flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the steep eastern hillside portion of the estate. In 2015, Cliff Lede Vineyards achieved both Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery certification.
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.