Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
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It started with dinner at Taillevent, the super-renowned restaurant in Paris that held three Michelin stars for 34 years, and it ended after three days of touring and tasting through the finest Bordeaux has to offer—including all five First Growths and a quite a few Second Growths.
If you ask Winemaker Nicki Pruss or Vineyard Manager Kirk Grace about the 2007 Napa Valley harvest, they might ask you “which one?” That’s because they both see 2007 as having two very distinct phases: before and after the intense heat spike of late August - early September. Kirk calls it the “two full moons harvest,” because both phases were clustered around full moons that occurred in late August and late September.
Decanting is a time-honored wine ritual, but it’s not just for show. When you decant a bottle of wine, two things happen. Slow and careful decanting allows mature wine (typically red wine) to separate from bitter sediment that develops in the aging process. Meanwhile young wines also benefit from decanting, although the aim in not to take the wine off its sediment (as there is rarely any sediment in young wine), but rather to aerate the wine, softening its youthful bite or tannins and coaxing the development of more complex aromas.
One of the most frequent questions we get from visitors to the winery is about the proper temperature for serving wine. It’s a valid query, because served either too cold or too warm, a wine will taste considerably different. And contrary to what many restaurants would have you believe, an ice bucket is not always “right” for white wines and “wrong” for reds.
The old saying that “wine is made in the vineyard” is perhaps never more accurate than when it comes to managing the canopy — or green foliage — of a grapevine. Canopy management, a series of viticultural practices that occur between budbreak (in early spring) and veraison (mid-summer), is one of the winegrowers’ most powerful tools. By precisely controlling the amount of air and light that circulates and surrounds a grapevine, growers can affect photosynthesis, vine vigor, fruit development, and ripening, which in turn profoundly influence the character of a wine.
Estate Wine Library
Visit our Estate Wine Library where we share the original tasting notes from the winery as well as notes and comments from our winemaking team and collectors based on tastings over the years.