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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time Napa Valley 2014

External Review by We Speak Wine:

The Story of The Hands of Time: Along a shady walkway on the tranquil grounds of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars one comes across a succession of limestone plaques, each bearing a handprint. These handprints comprise the Hands of Time exhibit, an enduring tribute to the many people who contributed to the winery’s history over the years and who have gone on to become celebrated winemakers and viticulturists in their own right. With a tradition of mentoring that dates back to our founding in 1970, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has been a springboard for many a storied winemaker’s career. This wine is a tribute to our alumni whose unwavering vision of crafting elegant and balanced wines has been passed down from teacher to student, and through the hands of time. Vintage Notes: 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 grapes 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. Tasting Notes: This Napa Valley red blend has aromas and flavors of blackberry, ripe plum and a hint of cocoa. On the palate, the wine is fruit forward and round in texture with cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg spice notes. The 2014 Hands of Time is very food-friendly and approachable, pairing equally well with shredded pork tacos, grilled beef sliders or Chicken Saltimbocca. Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon 11% Merlot 3% Malbec Barrel Aging: 17 months in neutral oak (mostly French oak) Alcohol: 14.5.% Winemaker: Marcus Notaro

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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

External Reviews for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time Napa Valley

External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
11/09/2017

The Story of The Hands of Time: Along a shady walkway on the tranquil grounds of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars one comes across a succession of limestone plaques, each bearing a handprint. These handprints comprise the Hands of Time exhibit, an enduring tribute to the many people who contributed to the winery’s history over the years and who have gone on to become celebrated winemakers and viticulturists in their own right. With a tradition of mentoring that dates back to our founding in 1970, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has been a springboard for many a storied winemaker’s career. This wine is a tribute to our alumni whose unwavering vision of crafting elegant and balanced wines has been passed down from teacher to student, and through the hands of time. Vintage Notes: 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 grapes 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. Tasting Notes: This Napa Valley red blend has aromas and flavors of blackberry, ripe plum and a hint of cocoa. On the palate, the wine is fruit forward and round in texture with cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg spice notes. The 2014 Hands of Time is very food-friendly and approachable, pairing equally well with shredded pork tacos, grilled beef sliders or Chicken Saltimbocca. Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon 11% Merlot 3% Malbec Barrel Aging: 17 months in neutral oak (mostly French oak) Alcohol: 14.5.% Winemaker: Marcus Notaro




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