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Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP91
14.9% ABV
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  • WW94
  • RP93
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14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Intense blackberry liqueur and espresso bean develop into rose and truffle oil aromas as the wine opens. Creamy and opulent, flavors of semi-sweet chocolate, mocha, and plum layer the front and mid-palate. A beam of fresh minerality (archetypal Stags Leap District character) frames the long silky finish. Decanting is recommended. Revisit over 24 hours as new layers develop with time.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District shows off considerable focus and depth, not to mention terrific overall balance. Dark plums, cherries, spices, licorice and cassis are some of the notes that flow from this long, pure wine. Today the tannins are a bit compact, but bottle age should help to some degree. The 2009 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
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Cliff Lede

Cliff Lede Vineyards

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Cliff Lede Vineyards, Napa Valley, California
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Established in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards encompasses 60 acres in the famed Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. Owner Cliff Lede, viticulturist David Abreu, winemaker Kale Anderson and consulting winemaker Philippe Melka have come together to form an unrivalled team, making the most of this remarkable property. Their state-of-the-art gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Chateau Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. The winery produces Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their flagship, Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon, is crafted from the steep hillside portion of the estate.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

CAR34368_09_2009 Item# 116108