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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Napa Valley 2014

Editorial Review by Gregory Dal Piaz:

After the old wines this was a shock to the system with it's intense nose of prune jam, oak, and milk chocolate. On the palate this is so rich and creamy with surprisingly solid acidity and a good wall of youthfull tannin clamping down on the finish. The fruit clings like a sheet to the structure and leads to a very chewy midpalate that is really quite powerful without being over the top. Still a babe and in need of time in the cellar or a great decant this is promising Cab. 2011-2025

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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars:
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is considered one of Napa Valley's first-growths. We were founded by Warren Winiarski and his family in 1970 and are best known for our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons — CASK 23, S.L.V., and FAY. Over the years, our wines have become some of the most highly regarded and collected wines worldwide. They are fashioned to express classic elegance, structure... Read more
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is considered one of Napa Valley's first-growths. We were founded by Warren Winiarski and his family in 1970 and are best known for our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons — CASK 23, S.L.V., and FAY. Over the years, our wines have become some of the most highly regarded and collected wines worldwide. They are fashioned to express classic elegance, structure, and ageability, and to reflect the place in which they are grown. n May 24, 1976, a wine tasting took place in Paris that changed the world’s view of California wines forever. The tasting was the brainchild of Steven Spurrier, an English wine merchant who owned an innovative wine shop and adjacent wine school in the center of Paris. Located near the offices of IBM, many of the students at L’Academie du Vin were Americans who worked in France and were anxious to learn more about wine. Spurrier was intrigued by some of the California Cabernets and Chardonnays his students brought by the shop. Curious to see how these newcomers would fare against French wines made from the same kind of grapes, he arranged a blind wine tasting in celebration of the American Bicentennial activities in Paris. The French tasters chosen for the event had impeccable professional credentials. The French wines were First and other classified-growth red Bordeaux and white Burgundies. They were matched against California Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays. The tasting was blind, with the identities of the wines concealed and the labels revealed only after the jury of nine tasters had voted its order of preference. The unthinkable happened. The 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon - the first vintage produced with grapes from vines a mere three years old - was judged the best. The Cabernet had bested four top-ranked Bordeaux, including first-growths Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion. The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay from California bested its French counterparts. TIME magazine’s Paris correspondent was on hand for the tasting and broke the news. Less might have been made of the whole thing had the French tasters been other than top-notch - and had they been less disdainful toward the California selections as they tasted. The French tasters were stunned when the names of the wines were revealed. The impact of the tasting for California wines was immediate, like a vinous "shot heard round the world," as one observer put it, catapulting California wines onto the world stage by illustrating that exceptional wines could come from somewhere other than traditionally sacrosanct French terroir. The 1976 Paris tasting has been duplicated over the years, often with similar results. One of those tastings took place at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 1996 to mark the 20th anniversary of the event. At that time bottles of the first-place wines--the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay--were placed into the Museum’s collections. Today, the wines of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars continue to command the respect and admiration of wine aficionados the world over, proving beyond a doubt that the Paris victory was no accident, and that our Napa Valley wines age as gracefully as the beautiful and time-honored wines of Bordeaux Read less

Editorial Reviews for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Napa Valley

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
89065238,749
4.00 5
Vintage: 1991 09/22/2008

After the old wines this was a shock to the system with it's intense nose of prune jam, oak, and milk chocolate. On the palate this is so rich and creamy with surprisingly solid acidity and a good wall of youthfull tannin clamping down on the finish. The fruit clings like a sheet to the structure and leads to a very chewy midpalate that is really quite powerful without being over the top. Still a babe and in need of time in the cellar or a great decant this is promising Cab. 2011-2025


Member Reviews for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Napa Valley

Add your review
Snooth User: muledaddy
69512848
4.50 5
Vintage: 2007 10/06/2011

Cream of the crop in the Stag's Leap District. The staff at Stag's Leap set up a blind tasting of Cask 23, SLV, Fay, and Artemis for both my wife and me. We each independently ranked them the same, and in that order. No doubt Cask 23 was the superior bottle. Bold and full-bodied, yet balanced. Tannins could mellow a bit, but given a few years in the cellar it should be wonderful.


Snooth User: iDrinkReds
11565551,251
5.00 5
Vintage: 2007 04/14/2013

Five glasses


Snooth User: Kelleyleigh
53413230
0.00 5
Vintage: 2004 07/17/2010

We have this wine in our cellar and are saving for a special day!


Snooth User: mfaerber
2982324
4.00 5
Vintage: 2000 08/02/2007

Four glasses


Snooth User: joesaint1017
54011520
5.00 5
Vintage: 1999 07/25/2010

One of the best wines I've had. Opened it up in the 11th year, simply beautiful....dry, complex, smooth....like drinking liquid velvet.


External Reviews for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Napa Valley

External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
01/29/2018

The story of CASK 23 began 40 years ago, during the harvest of 1974. Back then, the winery enlisted the help of celebrated winemaker André Tchelistcheff. As he tasted through various lots of new wines from that year, one lot from S.L.V. was so beautiful and deliciously distinct the winery decided it should be bottled separately. It was named CASK 23 for the large wooden cask in which it was aged. Today, the wine is a blend of the most distinctive fruit from the S.L.V and FAY vineyards, resulting in a wine of extraordinary depth and richness balanced by restraint. Over the years, CASK 23 has become one of the most highly regarded and collected wines worldwide. Vineyards & Winemaking: CASK 23 is a tale of two vineyards that come together in a harmonious blend. For the 2014 offering, 56% of the fruit is from S.L.V. (blocks 3B, 2A, 3A, 4C) and 44% from FAY vineyard (blocks 3B, 7AB, 2A, 9, 8C1). Specific blocks within these adjoining ranches provide distinct attributes to the wine. Vines planted in volcanic soils on the eastern hillsides of S.L.V. and FAY give CASK 23 its structure, concentration, spicy intensity and elegant tannins; those grown in the alluvial soils in the middle and lower sections of the two vineyards add vibrant fruit flavors, a supple mid-palate and perfumed aromatics. Each lot was vinified and aged separately in small French oak barrels for 21.5 months, allowing the characteristics of each block to develop, while adding subtle spice notes. In the latter stages of aging the lots were blended, becoming one in CASK 23. Vintage: 2014 was the third in a string of excellent vintages in Napa Valley. After a bone-dry winter and several years of drought conditions, much needed rain arrived in March that filled the soils with moisture. The rain fell at the perfect time and changed the direction of the growing season. In January, the winery team was strategizing to farm for small canopies, tannic fruit and low yields due to the drought. With the March rains, however, the focus in the vineyards shifted to controlling crop size and managing vine vigor. While 2014 was a warm year, there were no extreme heat events. Daytime highs were average yet evenings weren’t as cool as normal, giving the vines an ideal growing climate. This allowed the grape varietals to ripen one after another, so grapes were picked and brought into the winery when they were ready. The resulting wines are of extremely high quality with ripe fruit flavors (at lower sugar levels), elegant tannins and great balance. Wine: The 2014 CASK 23 combines the signature perfume notes of FAY vineyard with the structure and minerality of S.L.V. The wine has complex fruit aromas (black cherry, currant, plum and blueberry jam) along with notes of brown sugar, black tea and violet. On the palate, this opulent Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich mouthfeel with flavors complementing the aromas. The wine’s tannins and texture are on the line between elegance and power and lead to a very long, plush finish. Enjoy this CASK 23 with grilled Rib Eye, prime rib roast or braised short-ribs on creamy polenta. Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Aging: 21.5 months 90% new French oak Alcohol: 14.5% pH: 3.83 Titratable Acidity: 0.55 g / 100 mL


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2012 09/11/2015

The 2012 CASK 23 combines the signature perfume notes of FAY vineyard with the structure and minerality of S.L.V. The wine opens with pleasing aromas of black cherry, dark plum, espresso and spice. The wine has a rich, ripe fruit entry that leads to a concentrated core of dark fruit (plum, black cherry, dried currant). The palate is expansive, coating the whole mouth with rich fruit, full and sweet tannins and lingering flavors mocha and black tea. Serve CASK 23 with grilled New York steak, prime rib with au jus, or black pepper-crusted Ahi tuna steaks. Barrel Aging: 21 months, 95% new French oak Alcohol: 14.5% pH: 3.68 Total Acidity: 0.54 g/100 mL


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2010 03/11/2014

In a vintage such as 2010 where individual terroirs are so clearly marked, the Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cask 23 - a blend of the SLV and Fay - is at a distinct disadvantage because it naturally lacks the character and personality of those two wines. I must also note that the SLV and Fay have improved dramatically on their own terms, so the rationale of blending them is further diminished. To be sure the Cask 23 is an excellent representation of the vintage. There is plenty of 2010 fruit, structure and tannin, along with attractive hints of smoke, tar and incense, but at the end of the day, I find the Cask 23 less satisfying than Stags' Leap Wine Cellars' very best wines. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030. This 100% Cabernet is a blend of the winery's S.L.V. and Fay vineyards, and one of the most famous bottlings in Napa Valley. But the 2010 simply is not in the same league of past bottlings. It's pleasant with rich blackberry, cherry, cocoa and ...


External Review
Vintage: 2010 09/12/2013

CASK 23 is a tale of two vineyards that come together in a harmonious blend. For the 2010 offering, slightly more than half of the grapes were grown in our FAY vineyard while the balance was from select areas in S.L.V.


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2010 11/04/2014

The 2010 CASK 23 combines the signature perfume notes of FAY vineyard with the structure and minerality of S.L.V. The wine opens with deep red and black cherry aromas along with notes of juicy strawberry, cocoa and spice. The wine has an elegant texture with very fine tannins and great acidity. On the palate the wine is full bodied with rich dark berry fruit with hints of cedar and white truffle that lead to a long fruit and spice driven finish. - WineryBarrel Aging: 21 months, 90% new French oakAlcohol: 14.5%pH: 3.71Total Acidity: 0.58g/100ml


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
Vintage: 2009 07/31/2013

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Estate is dark rich and intensely satisfying. Layers of dark fruit flow effortlessly from this big, textured Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 possesses gorgeous mid-palate depth and stunning overall balance, especially relative to other recent vintages. This is a super-impressive showing. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029. - Robert Parker 94+ Points Shows impressive elegance, refinement, detail and complexity, with subtle currant, dried berry, dried herb and cedar notes, ending with a long graceful finish. Drink now through 2024. 1,800 cases made. -JL Bright ruby-red, the most saturated of these 2009 cabernets. Good floral and herbal lift to the aromas of currant, black cherry, soil and underbrush. A step up in pliancy of texture and depth, with good vinosity giving shape to the middle palate. Finishes with rather suave tannins, a whiff of herbs and sneaky persistence. Still, this is less expansive on the back end tha...


External Review
Vintage: 2008 08/16/2011

The 2008 CASK 23 offers continuously unfolding aromas of violets, cassis, whole and crushed blackberries, oak spice, dark cocoa, cedar and subtle cigar box. It s intense, yet still vibrant and fresh, with concentrated flavors which build through the finish and linger after each sip. Silky texture and refined tannins complete the portrait. Serve CASK 23 with braised beef cheeks or crown roast of lamb.


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