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