The estate’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate SLV emerges from a parcel next to Fay, but here the terrain is much richer in stones and therefore traps the daytime heat to a far greater extent. Ash, smoke, slate, plums and blackberries are some of the many notes that burst from the glass. The SLV is a big, tannic wine, especially in this vintage. There is more than enough tension and sheer energy to allow for years of great drinking, once the wine softens a bit. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2030.
Dramatic improvements are clearly underway at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, which was sold to a consortium led by Tuscany’s Piero Antinori in 2007. Antinori brought in well-known consultant Renzo Cotarella to improve the quality and, hopefully, get this winery back to the lofty heights it achieved in the seventies and early eighties. They seem to be well on their way, which is good news for consumers. This is a large estate of 104 acres, all situated as one giant block of vineyards in the southern part of the Stags Leap appellation. The change in ownership and winemaking staff shows progressive improvement with each vintage starting with 2007. The 2009s look to be their best wines to date. As for the 2007 reds, normally four cuvees are produced, all based on Cabernet Sauvignon, including the Cask 23, which comes from the best lots from the Fay and S.L.V. estate vineyards after fermentations are completed. The most impressive Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ offerings made since the 1985 vintage are the three 2009s I was permitted to taste from barrel.