STAGS' LEAP The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - 2016
STAGS' LEAP The Leap Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - 2016 Napa Valley, California
The 2016 Leap Cabernet Sauvignon captures the distinctive personality of Stags' Leap estate vineyard and this incredible vintage, crafting a darkly intense, multilayered, rich and approachable wine with depth of fruit, plushness and creamy richness. This wine is classic Stags Leap District Cabernet, offering blackberry, blueberry and macerated strawberry aromas on the nose, along with subtle baking spice notes of cinnamon, milk chocolate and coffee, alongside more savory notes of black olive and chaparral herbs. On the palate, there is elegance, freshness and complexity, showing lifted dark blackberry, blueberry and black raspberry fruits followed by hints of chocolate, espresso and black pepper spice. With big, round, mouth-pleasing tannins and a silky, smooth lithe texture, this Cabernet exhibits the iconic power and intensity that have become synonymous with Stags’ Leap estate wines but drinks elegantly, demonstrating the opulence and grace of the estate.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
"The Leap is a barrel selection, a blend of the best Cabernet Sauvignon blocks, lots and cooperages in a given vintage. Each lot undergoes a long, (almost month-long), maceration period which adds color, tannin and complexity of flavors to the Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, each lot was held separately in French oak barrels (54% new) for 20 months before Winemaker Christophe Paubert hand selected the most expressive of them to blend just prior to bottling. Keeping each block separate allows close monitoring of each individual lot through aging, maximizing the depth and potential of the estate vineyards."