Considered one of the “first growths” of Napa Valley, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has made Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards for decades. Its ‘Cask 23’ is probably its most famous bottling– and this bottling is the highest ever scored by The Wine Advocate in its long, storied history.
“Marcus Notaro came to SLWC from Col Solare in Washington State. He blended the 2012s and worked on the 2013s with Kirk Grace, who manages the two estate vineyards—S.L.V. and Fay—that come together in Cask 23. Fay is an alluvial wash on the valley floor below the Stags Leap escarpment, with some blocks higher up the hillside, where the soils share more of the volcanic rock of S.L.V., a less fertile and faster draining colluvial mix fallen down from the hills above. Notaro uses those upper blocks of Fay and S.L.V. to build structure in Cask 23, as well as selections from vines on the lower, silty soils that offer a lighter, more fragrant cabernet. What’s remarkable about this 2013 is how those elements combine in a wine with the textural richness and polish of great Stags Leap District cabernet and then expand into fragrance. It’s a wine with forward motion, what senior editor Luke Sykora described as “a torrent of fruit in the middle, propulsive fruit that pushes the oak to the side.” The lasting impression is savory and bright, a wine that looks up to the future, one that will live long among the greats of the 2013 vintage in Napa Valley.” -Wine & Spirits Magazine
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99 Points, Robert Parker, Jr.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 ratchets up the level of complexity, richness and density. Magnificent floral notes intermix with blueberry, blackberry and cassis, and there is no hint of new oak. A full-bodied opulence on the palate, great purity and personality make for a prodigious example of Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 30+ years. Kudos to Stags Leap Wine Cellars.
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