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I sourced this "Napa Valley" Cabernet from a Stags Leap winery and, after one whiff, thought they were just trying to protect the appellation by selling it as "Napa Valley". It smelled exactly like Stags Leap Cabernet - inky in the glass with aromas of graphitic black cherry and plum backed by blackberry jam and fantastic tannins. I asked the winemaker if they were holding out on me and was promptly sent a very specific appellation breakout:73.58% Stags Leap22.44% Yountville3.98% Carneros
A very small appellation, Stags Leap District Cabernet has become increasingly difficult to source over the last decade. In retrospect, I guess its probably best the wine didn't qualify for Stags Leap appellation as it likely would have doubled the price. As it is, you get the best of both worlds, spectacular, all-estate-fruit Cabernet that looks and smells like Stags Leap at the ridiculously low price of $216/case or $18/bottle. This is the same wine they bottle as a Napa Valley Cabernet and sell for $70+/bottle.
Inky black in the glass with just a kiss of garnet around the rim. The nose draws you down into the glass with deep, rich plum, black cherry and blackberry jam aromas. At the same time, red rock, graphite and juicy white florals are uplifted, the overall effect is a voluminous and complex nose. Supple on entry and beautifully balanced with black fruits melded perfectly with classic Stags Leap acidity and tension.
UPDATED JUNE 27, 2021
I found this wine a bit more aromatically complex a couple of months ago. Its swinging back and forth a bit still but I think finally settling in as it opened with air. Rain on asphalt, blackberry syrup and leather aromas peek through…day two shows more ethereal and otherworldly but it is still tightly wound as well as working through oak integration. Fantastic structure however, give this a 24 hour decant in the meantime but best to wait until the fall.
65+% new French and Hungarian oak78% Cabernet, 13% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc14.6% alc.Bottled September 30th, 2020800 cases available
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Phoenix Wine Company, LLC,
PO Box 472334
San Francisco, CA 94147.
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