1997 Stag's Leap Retrospective

Northbrook, IL

Tasted October 15, 2010 by psmith with 811 views

Flight 1 - Opening Wines (2 notes)

White
1992 Louis Jadot Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles Domaine des Héritiers Louis Jadot France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
Heady, with honey and citrus fruit notes and a minty component. Firm, tense, mineral-laden finish. Great balance. Really good.
White
1992 Marcassin Chardonnay Gauer Upper Barn USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Marmalade and petrol notes. Round and lush, especially next to the Jadot Demoiselles. Almost Rhone-like in its oily character and tropical notes. Mature. Nice.

Flight 2 - 1997 Stages Leap Retrospective (12 notes)

This flight was 11 different 1997 SLD wins originally sold as a set. All blind, with one ringer. Overall I was pleasantly surprised, and expected more to be in clear decline. Commonality (perhaps SLD-driven) was a dark fruit quality and more grainy, firm tannins.

Red
1997 S. Anderson Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Dark, minty wind. Some floral notes. Black licorice. Somewhat raw tannins. My 5, group 4.
Red
1997 Pine Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
flawed
Corked. My 12, group 12.
Red
1997 Robert Sinskey Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon SLD Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Sweet dark fruit. Somewhat syrupy - in a nice way initially but really fell apart with time. Firm, fine tannins. Prune. My 8, group 11.
Red
1997 Steltzner Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Plump, but a bit flabby. Forward. Dark color. Fine tannins. Fades quickly. My 9, group 10.
Red
1997 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Nice green streak. Char notes. Soft palate. Much improvement with time. My 3, group 8.
Red
1997 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Cedar. Soft, with a classic green edge. Fine tannins held in check. Medium body. Nice. My 2, group 5.
Red
1997 Hartwell Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Sunshine USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Dusty. Well balanced. Classic. Medium body with grainy tannins. Probably under-rated by me. My 7, group 3.
Red
1997 Stags' Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
Ripe and forward. Sweet. Well built, with fine but ample tannins. Young. My 1, group 1.
Red
1997 Regusci Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Strangely candied profile. Red fruit. Lacking structure. Overt. My 10, group 6.
Red
1997 Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
Dark, meaty wine. Some green notes and dust. Great mouthfeel. Firm and classic. Coffee notes. My 6, group 7.
Red
1997 Silverado Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Unbalanced. Syrup. Low tannins. Not good. My 11, group 9.
Red
1990 Silverado Vineyards Merlot USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Classic styling. Red fruit and dusty notes. Soft. Nice density. Holding up very well. My 4, group 2.

Flight 3 - Shafer Flight (4 notes)

Again, all blind. Shame the '92 wasn't showing what it's capable of.

Red
1980 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
Some volatile notes. Soft but in decline. A trace of sweet fruit. Enjoyable. My 3, group 3.
Red
2005 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Sweet fruit. Lots of oak. Flashy and modern. Young. Big wine. My 2, group 1.
Red
1994 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
Ripe. Mature, with soft, well-resolved red fruits. Very nice. My 1, group 2.
Red
1992 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
flawed
Way out of balanced. Prune; porty. Some VA. Blowsy. My 4, group 4.

Closing

The vast majority provided by the very generous host. Thanks Ken!

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