Haute Wines: The Ultimate Cabernet Collection

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Stags Leap District Winegrowers proudly released its Appellation Collection earlier this year. Dedicated to demonstrating the nuances that set Stags Leap apart from the rest of Napa, the 19 bottle, cabernet sauvignon set includes flagship bottlings from Stags Leap’s most notable wineries. All of the wines are from the 2006 vintage which proved to be challenging for growers but produced outstanding results for winemakers and will certainly culminate as a treat for the imbiber. The 19 bottle set sells for a cool $1499.00, but is out on limited release. Only 200 cases were ever made available and cab fans have until the end of the month to scoop it up.

Stags Leap is a sub appellation within Napa whose signature lies in a deep, ripe fruit-driven core, soft, smooth tannins and luscious texture. Wine educator extraordinaire Karen McNeil once called it “textural hedonism,” but what is it that makes Stags Leap so unique? The viticultural area is a teeny-tiny piece of land, barely one mile long and three miles wide that lies on the eastern flank of the Napa Valley. It is the first AVA in the country to have been approved based on its soil composition, a combination of volcanic soils and loamy, clay riverbed sediments. Additionally, the area benefits from a greater diurnal change than the rest of Napa as it is tag teamed by cooling, maritime afternoon breezes and evening air drainage resulting in even lower nighttime temps. The wines from Stags Leap are intensely ripe, wonderfully textured and powerful, but they possess solid acidity to balance and offset these overtly expressive characteristics.

These are the wines included in the set:

Baldacci Family Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Chimney Rock Winery, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ganymede Vineyard
Cliff Lede Vineyards, 2006 Poetry
Clos Du Val, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Hartwell Vineyards, 2006 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Ilsley Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lindstrom Wines, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Malk Family Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Pine Ridge Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Regusci Winery, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Sinskey Vineyards, 2006 RSV Cabernet Sauvignon
Robinson Family Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Shafer Vineyards, 2006 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon
Silverado Vineyards, Solo, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, 2006 Fay Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Stags’ Leap Winery, 2006 The Leap Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Steltzner Vineyards, 2006 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Taylor Family Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Terlato Family Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Haute Wines’s top 3 were the Shafer Vineyards, 2006 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon, Cliff Lede Vineyards, 2006 Poetry and Malk Family Vineyards, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting notes and pairings to come in part 2.

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