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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
  • WE95
  • WS93
  • D93
  • W&S90
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.3 28 Ratings
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4.3 28 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The FAY vineyard is where the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars story began. Established by pioneering grape grower Nathan Fay in 1961, it was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what is now the Stags Leap District. At the time, conventional wisdommaintained that the area was too cold for Cabernet Sauvignon. But tasting Nathan Fay's homemade Cabernet in 1969 was a defining moment for the founder of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Here was land capable of producing a wine that could rival the best in theworld. Within a year an adjoining ranch, now known as S.L.V., was purchased. And, in 1986, the winery purchased Nathan Fay's vineyard and named it FAY in his honor.

Elegant and inviting with a nose of violet, cinnamon, vanilla clove and boysenberry that brings to mind a slice of dark berry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The wine has a silky, velvety texture from the fine tannins and rich fruit core that allows the wineto flow over the midpalate and merge with the signature bright red cherry notes of the vineyard. While not bold in character, the 2012 FAY has great persistence and length, promising long life.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Estate Grown possesses a complex bouquet of raspberries, blueberries, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers, abundant richness, and a medium to full-bodied, graceful mouthfeel with everything in perfect harmony. It exhibits gorgeous fruit, a complex personality, full body and terrific elegance and finesse. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035.

Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Barrel Sample
: 93-96 Points

WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
From the vineyard that helped propel the appellation's reputation into the stratosphere, this wine delivers both in terms of its historical significance, but also in present-day refinement and complexity. A flinty, earthy layer of black truffle and coffee open the aromatic profile of the wine before offering bold, brawny flavors of leather and black currant. The oak is well integrated and the tannins sizable yet behaved. This is a beautiful wine. Editors' Choice.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Impressive, with a rich, juicy core of black currant, blackberry, dusty earth and savory underbrush, giving this an expansive, wellfocused range of flavors. Drink now through 2028.
D 93
Decanter
Pretty and elegant, with floral and cassis perfume and supple tannins. Seamless from start to finish, with refreshing acidity.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
This is a clean vintage from Fay, the historic Napa Valley vineyard tucked into the hillside of the Stags Leap escarpment on alluvial soils. The wine’s purple-and-garnet-hued fruit feels tied directly to its tannins, relatively light in body, but with firm depth of flavor. It’s fragrant, earthy and satisfying, an elegant partner for roast leg of lamb.
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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, California
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Considered one of the "first growths" of Napa Valley, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars produces renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards. Founded in 1970, the winery brought international recognition to California winemaking and the Napa Valley when the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won the now famout 1976 Paris Tasting, also known as the "Judgement of Paris." Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' three estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons - CASK 23, S.L.V. and Fay - are among the most highly regarded and collected Cabernet Sauvignons worldwide. The wines are fashioned to express richness balanced by elegant restraint, an approach often described as "an iron fist in a velvet glove."

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Stags Leap District

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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.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. 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 from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy 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.

SOU384272_2012 Item# 89263