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Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Winemaker's Notes:

Open this wine when you have a very long evening to savor its magnificent journey along a sensual path of great beauty. The fiery and intense elements of S.L.V. are softened by the gentle roundness of FAY. Aromas of cassis, wild strawberry, raspberry and black cherry come alive as if out of the heart of a cedar cigar box just as it is opened. Trailing notes of wet leather, black and white pepper, vanilla and roasted almonds rest gently on a bed of dried violets. A red fruit entry transforms itself into silky plumminess. Power and finesse rest on a firm, yet discrete, structure of fruit and oak tannins. The sensation lingers, reverberating like the memory of a great piece of music.

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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

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

Add your review
Snooth User: spartan
10704627
5.00 5
12/16/2008

had this wine at a fine dining restaurant and it was outstanding. One of my favorite vineyards, always great wine and value for the price. I never regret this for any occasion or just an average evening for dinner regardless of vintage Im always pleased.


Snooth User: edmo
6166324
3.00 5
10/20/2010

Enjoyed a bottle the other evening with friends--drank a 99 Stags Leap as well. The 98 SLV was better but neither really impressed me for the price/value.


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

External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/10/2013

Warren Winiarski designed Cask 23 as a blend of Fay and SLV, vineyards with two kinds of soil: Thereandrsquo;s a wash of loam at the base of the hills, and volcanic rock up on the ridges. Winiarski thinks of this Cabernet Sauvignon as a blend of andldquo;water blocksandrdquo; (loam soils giving smooth, supple character), and andldquo;fire blocksandrdquo; (volcanic soils providing a more intensity, fiery side). In this andrsquo;98, you can practically smell the astringency in the aroma, the blackness of plum skin, the deep chocolate texture of the tannins all seeming to create a black veil to the richness of the wine. Nothing is revealed, and yet the wine is immensely generous. To gain access to the wine, youandrsquo;ll probably need to wait a decade.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

The estatersquo;s flagship wine, the medium-bodied 2001 Cask 23 exhibits notions of berry fruit intermixed with spice, coffee beans, herbs, and a touch of the cow dung component. While the attack is attractive, the wine narrows out and concludes with an angular, uninteresting finish. It actually performs less well than its two siblings, which is hard to understand. It will age for 10ndash;15 years, but this 2001 in no way recalls the great Cask 23rsquo;s of the seventies and early to mid-eighties. What a shame!


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

[Barrel tasting] At first it reveals an earthy, gamy flavor, but grows into a very distinctive wine, with rich layers of earthy currant, coffee and mocha. Shows a supple texture and excellent depth and length, all the while maintaining a sense of elegance.


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
12/07/2010

A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1998 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 2 750ml


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
06/19/2013

Medium to medium-dark ruby color; attractive, intense, spicy, ripe plum, red currant, black cherry and cassis aroma with a hint of coffee and overtones of vanilla; medium-full to full body; big, rich, supple, cedary, plummy, ripe currant and black cherry fruit flavors with good depth; well structured; medium-full tannin; lingering aftertaste. Shows a lot of new oak in the aroma and flavors and needs several more years of bottle aging for the fruit and oak to meld.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

Warren Winiarskirsquo;s Cask 23 and SLV Cabernets are often slow starters, then come back to surprise and delight. These two wines from the rsquo;92 vintage are no exception, sharing similar flavor profiles, the Cask 23 painted on a larger canvas. The Cask 23rsquo;s aromas are more exotic, possessing as they do more facets to explore. There is a keynote of blackberry with the wild cherry overtones found in the SLV, and they carry over to the palate. The middle palate impression needs to fill out, as it may well, and tannins need to resolve, all this being perhaps five years away. As always, ldquo;Cask 23rdquo; is a beautifully and intelligently made wine.


External Review
Source: Premium Wine & Spirits
01/03/2012

This red blend is intense and concentrated, with a rich and supple texture and loads of currant, anise, black cherry, plum and berry notes. On the finish, the flavors weave together into a complex tapestry, and though firmly tannic, itrsquo;s perfectly balanced. Tempting now; at its best from 2000 to 2006, maybe beyond.


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Open this wine when you have a very long evening to savor its magnificent journey along a sensual path of great beauty. The fiery and intense elements of S.L.V. are softened by the gentle roundness of FAY. Aromas of cassis, wild strawberry, raspberry and black cherry come alive as if out of the heart of a cedar cigar box just as it is opened. Trailing notes of wet leather, black and white pepper, vanilla and roasted almonds rest gently on a bed of dried violets. A red fruit entry transforms itself into silky plumminess. Power and finesse rest on a firm, yet discrete, structure of fruit and oak tannins. The sensation lingers, reverberating like the memory of a great piece of music.

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