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

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WS94
  • W&S93
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • JS93
  • WS91
  • RP95
  • WW95
  • WE92
  • W&S95
  • RP92
  • WE91
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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, , California
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
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."

Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely east to west starting near the coast, allowing Pacific Ocean air to funnel through and cool the vineyards. This allows grapes to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, this creates an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has proven quite successful in the region as well. Many vineyards here are owned by growers who sell their grapes to wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottle from different wineries. Bien Nacido is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

CVI263459_1997 Item# 24517

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