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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon 1997

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Wine ~ The 1997 S.L.V. is like a poem. Its aromas and flavors are subtle and complex. It shows its classic Bordeaux-like elements in graceful abundance. Nuances of white pepper and intriguing brambly qualities perfume the essence of black plum. fruit is luscious on the palate with an elegant backbone of spicy Trench oak. flavoring. The wine evolves through layers of tea leaf and cassis flavors that are accompanied by restrained tannins, echoing in a silky finish. Try this wine with beef tenderloin dressed in a brandy reduction or a wild mushroom risotto.

Vineyard ~ S.L.V., first planted by the Winiarski family as Stag's Leap Vineyards in 1970, now yields even greater depth of fruit than that found in the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine that won the famous 1976 Paris Tasting. Since 1986, we have been applying new viticultural principles to further enhance fruit expression and to promote uniform berry ripeness. Meticulous canopy management gives greater expression to the rich structure and flavor typical of more mature vines. As we replant, the newest viticultural techniques allow us to better match rootstocks, vine spacing and clones to different soils in the vineyard. Human involvement in our estate vineyards has never been higher, for we are farming not only vine-by-vine during the growing season, but as harvest approaches, grape clusters are thinned to ensure unvaried fruit maturation. The overall vineyard conditions are ideal. The soil is volcanic and alluvial with good drainage. Located in the heart of the Stags Leap District, after- noons are warm with cool evening breezes.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley, 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."

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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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.

NDE24517_1997 Item# 24517