Stags' Leap Winery
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay
California: Napa Valley
What we say
FINAL AVAILABILITY ALERT:
Through clever maneuvering and covert subterfuge (and some begging), we were able to secure the final stock of this fantastic wine. With less than 20 cases left anywhere, today’s wine will sell out – so please act fast
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Stags’ Leap has a reputation for exceptional quality. Today’s wine reinforces this notion, by providing an exemplary experience through and through. If you love fantastic Chardonnay, you’ll love this richly delicious Chardonnay from Stags’ Leap
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT:
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Mission Codename: The rest of the story
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Infiltrate world famous Stags’ Leap winery – and secure a cache of their famous Napa Valley Chardonnay
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Stags’ Leap Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Stags’ Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay
Backgrounder: The Stags Leap District in Napa Valley gained worldwide acclaim when, in 1976, wines from the region bested their French rivals in the now-infamous Judgment of Paris. Today’s wine from our friends at Stags’ Leap Winery is a rich, delicious and character-filled wine that reinforces the widely-held belief that the best wines in California come from the Stags Leap district.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Bright golden yellow with a hint of straw color, perfect clarity and glistening edges. This wine has skinny legs that start high on the glass after swirling
Smell – Beautifully expressive and bright with citrus, tropical fruit, peach, soft dried grass, soft spices, gentle white flowers
Feel – A perfect mouth-feel that is round, light and smooth up front – before it becomes ever so slightly grippy and more dense at the edges of the mouth as soft mid-palate tannins gently take hold
Taste – Bright and fruity with layers of fruit. Green apple, pineapple, zesty (not tart or sour) lemon, Bartlett pear and soft spice are rich and dense on the palate
Finish – Long and very flavorful with fruits and aromas taper off in equal proportion – as a slight dryness and flinty minerality make your mouth water
Conclusion – Another brilliant offering from our friends at Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa. From my initial inhalation of the big aromatic of this wine, I knew what was in store for the rest of my senses. This Chardonnay exhibits a great deal of character, with big but still restrained flavors that gather on the palate in dense form. This is a bold wine with a the sort of dense, non-buttery, feel that I go crazy for in a Chardonnay. If you also love Chardonnay of real character, I recommend this one with all of my Stags’-lovin’ heart!
Below is our original mission report when we first discovered Stags’ Leap wonderful Viognier:
I have become a real fan of blind tasting. Tasting a wine, without knowing who makes it, is a great practice. It evens the playing field and makes the judging of the wine far more fair.
When considering today’s wine, I was faced with my own preconceived notion of the wine – especially of the brand. Stags’ Leap Winery is one of those almost mythic brands that just scream quality. Want to buy the good Stags’ wine? You don’t have to research your options overly; Just pick your favorite varietal and be virtually assured that you will enjoy the wine.
Because of this bias, I decided to taste blind. I pulled two other Viognier bottles from my secret stash and placed all three bottles into paper bags. Then I grabbed Agent Sparkle and we headed down to our favorite local wine bar to enlist the help of the owner and whatever customers we could wrangle.
Once there, we had one of the servers open the bottles and mix them up, and the bottles were marked ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. Another server poured. In all, there were 8 of us tasting the wines. The other Viognier in the tasting were all respectable in their own right, so the judging would be as fair as possible.
After we had tasted all three wines, a clear and immediate winner seemed to emerge. One of the wines brought the most smiles and positive comments, but we had to be sure. We assigned a point value to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place and each of us awarded points to our ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ wines. We enlisted the help of a non-drinking customer in tallying the points.
The ‘C’ wine was the overwhelming winner. When I grabbed the bag that contained our ‘C’ selection, I knew immediately what was inside. The distinctive voluptuous shape of the bottle told me that our winner was the 2007 Stags’ Leap Viognier! I slowly pulled the bottle out and then gently set the bottle on the table. There was a moment of contemplative silence – and then actual applause broke out. _ What a great moment and what a great wine!_
We hope you enjoy this beauty as much as we have. Cheers!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Stags’ Leap Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About The Wine:
Luscious aromas of white peach, tropical fruits, spice and honeysuckle greet the nose as this balanced CHARDONNAY presents ﬂavors of lemon, pineapple and green apple on the palate, and a creamy mouthfeel from aging on the lees. Pleasing ﬂoral and spice notes from the French oak carry rich fruit ﬂavors through for a juicy, long ﬁnish.
THE 2006 GROWING SEASON started out slowly with a cool, wet spring that contributed to a later than normal bud break. The warm summer months kept harvest on track by gradually sweetening the berries and advancing fruit maturity and ripeness in the vineyard. Having picked all of our fruit before the September rains, Stags’ Leap enjoyed perfect harvest conditions making for a memorable vintage.
The vineyards we farm for our CHARDONNAY are in southern Napa Valley and the Carneros region where the soils are deep, well-drained loams, perfect for grape growing. Cooler temperatures at that end of the valley provide for a long and even growing season allowing the fruit to fully ripen in harmony with the vines’ physiological development.
About The Winery:
On one of California’s earliest wine estates, a unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago.
An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.
History – A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century, popular with Hollywood due to its 1892 stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags’ Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
Stags Leap Manor, as it was called in the 1920s, was known as one of the prominent country retreats in the Napa Valley at a time when resort and spa business was big. In addition to lodging and dining, amenities included lawn tennis, swimming, horseback riding, children’s activities, golf, music, cards, a library, and Napa Valley wines and liquors (prior to and after Prohibition).
Varietals: Chardonnay 100%
Release Date: June 2007
Bottled: May 2007