Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Press & Praise

Here’s what people are saying about our wines.


Wine Enthusiast

95 points & Editors’ Choice

2008 ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon

“In a successful year, it rivals Stag’s Leap’s best wines, including CASK 23, and 2008 was a very successful year. Blended with 2% Merlot, and aged in lots of new French oak, the wine is, in a word, stunning. Rich, flashy blackberry and dark chocolate flavors are anchored by an earthiness suggesting cured olives and dried herbs. Delicious now, this beauty should develop additional complexities throughout the decade.”

Wine Enthusiast - February 2012

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

92 points

2009 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon

“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Estate is a striking, radiant wine graced with layers of dark red fruit, flowers, spices and menthol. It is a generous, open wine with great depth and polish in its textured personality. The oak is a bit prominent in this vintage, yet the 2009 is a huge improvement over the 2008.”

Wine Advocate - December 2011

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

90 points

2009 KARIA Chardonnay

“There are 25,000 cases of the 2009 Chardonnay KARIA. Part of this cuvee is put through malolactic and about one-third is aged in stainless steel and two-thirds in wood. This light straw-colored Chardonnay is a Napa Valley regional blend as opposed to an estate Chardonnay. It offers up aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle and lemon oil in its medium-bodied, crisp, fresh style. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

91 points

2009 ARCADIA Chardonnay

“There are about 1,000 cases of the 2009 Chardonnay ARCADIA Vineyard from the Coombsville appellation. This is the personal vineyard of the previous proprietor. Its light straw color is accompanied by notes of crushed rocks, white currants, citrus blossoms and nectarines. The wine possesses good acidity, a subtle, incremental building of flavors and intensity, medium body and a stony, Chablis-like personality. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Wine and Spirits

91 Points

2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Year’s Best Sauvignon Blanc
“More about structure than flavor when first pored, this opens over the course of a day to delicate, refined lemon and passionfruit characters. Wood cushions and balances the fruit, seeming to lengthen it as the wine stretched out. For roast sea bass with chanterelles.”

Wine & Spirits – June 2011

Wine Spectator

92 Points

2008 KARIA Chardonnay

“The highest-scoring Chardonnay in this week’s lineup is the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars KARIA bottling. KARIA means "graceful" in Greek, and this wine certainly delivers finesse and grace...Combines subtlety and finesse, with smooth ripe pear, melon, ginger, spice and hazelnut flavors that are rich and full-bodied without being heavy. Ends with a long, graceful finish.”

Wine Spectator - January 2011

Wine Enthusiast

90 Points

2008 ARCADIA Chardonnay

“A rich, smooth and spicy Chardonnay, very minerally and crisp, with flavors of wet stone, peach, citrus, white pepper and smoky wood. Feels tight and elegant and complex in the mouth. More food friendly than some of the creamier, sweeter Chards out there.”

Wine Enthusiast - February 2011

Wine Enthusiast

90 Points

2008 Sauvignon Blanc

“Here’s a rich, complex and utterly delightful Sauvignon Blanc whose flavors range from Meyer lemons and papayas to green melons and figs. The richness is balanced by fine acidity and minerals, and the finish is nice and dry.”

Wine Enthusiast - February 2011

Wine Advocate

90 Points

2007 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon

“The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon FAY Vineyard Estate is an outstanding effort made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a 67-acre estate vineyard in Stags Leap. Its deep ruby/plum color is followed by sweet aromas of plums, Allspice, licorice, black currants, cherries and flowers. Medium-bodied and elegant with a nice texture and silky tannins, it should drink well for 10-12 years.Wine Advocate.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Wine and Spirits 20th Annual Restaurant Poll

#3 - Most Popular Cabernet Sauvignon

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ARTEMIS

Wine & Spirits 20th Annual Restaurant Poll, April 2009

Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine

91 Points

2005 FAY

Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, April 2009

Decanter

New World Greats to Lay Down

FAY Cabernet Sauvignon

“This has the Napa Valley signature with great elegance and a soft finish. Superb value.”

Vincent Gasnier, Master Sommelier

Decanter, July 2008

Wall Street Journal

The Pursuit of Perfection, Best of 2007

2002 CASK 23

"Tightly wound and powerful. Great fruit, but well-controlled, with lovely blackberries, blueberries and minerals. Exciting to drink as it dances along the edges"

Wall Street Journal, December 28, 2007

Decanter

New World icons of today…and tomorrow. Are they in your cellar?

“Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ Cabernets - particularly CASK 23, SLV and FAY - remain in top form."

Decanter, September 2007

Wine Review Online

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars: Bottling the Test of Time. A 30-year Retrospective Tasting.

“After sampling more than a dozen older and current vintages of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ offerings, I was not surprised when their well-aged Cabernets showed its true colors. Their wines have always been a class act.”

Leslie Sbrocco

Wine Review Online, June 2006

San Francisco Chronicle

Judgment Day: Part Deux

“What the 2006 showdown between California and France really proves: It is remarkable that such a young vineyard produced a wine that was impressive on release and after 30 years.”

Linda Murphy

San Francisco Chronicle, June 1, 2006

Los Angeles Times

Tasted 30 years later: They’re alive!

“A rematch of the historic 1976 Paris event proves California reds age gracefully, as they topple French classics.”

Patrick Comiskey

Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2006

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

91 points

2009 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon

“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon SLV Estate shows off deep layers of expressive black fruit, licorice, white flowers and tar. Here, too, the influence of Antinori is felt in the wine’s polish, even if the real leap in quality does not take place until 2010 for this bottling. Layers of fruit build effortlessly to the big, dramatic finish. This is a hugely delicious wine with plenty of intensity and sheer personality.”

Wine Advocate - December 2011

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

94+ points

2009 CASK 23 Cabernet Sauvignon

“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Estate is dark rich and intensely satisfying. Layers of dark fruit flow effortlessly from this big, textured Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 possesses gorgeous mid-palate depth and stunning overall balance, especially relative to other recent vintages. This is a super-impressive showing.”

Wine Advocate - December 2011

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

92-94 points

2008 CASK 23 Cabernet Sauvignon

“The outstanding 2008 CASK 23 Estate may be the finest CASK 23 made since the late eighties and early nineties. It will be in bottle by the time this report is read. A deep ruby/plum/purple color is accompanied by notes of sweet plums, black currants, cherries, spice box and cedar. The wine possesses beautiful texture, a full-bodied richness and a long, natural finish. It should drink well for 15 or more years.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

92 Points

2008 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon

“Dark ruby/purple-hued with sweet black currant, spring flower, cedar and subtle earthy notes, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon FAY Vineyard Estate is a classic Napa Cabernet with both elegance and complexity. It can be drunk now or cellared for 12-14 years.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2008 S.L.V.Cabernet Sauvignon

“The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. Vineyard Estate’s sumptuous perfume of flowers, red currants, black currants, damp earth and roasted herbs is followed by a terroir-based, medium-bodied, layered, impressive wine. It was scheduled to be bottled right after my visit.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Wine Enthusiast

94 Points & Cellar Selection

2007 ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon

“Here’s a Cab to put in the cellar. It’s big and rich and frankly sensational, just massive in blackberries, currants and sweet dark chocolate. The tannins are fierce, but very fine, and the overall balance is impeccable. Too astringent now, even with decanting, but should easily improve in the bottle throughout the next decade.”

Wine Enthusiast - February 2011

Wine Enthusiast

93 Points

2007 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon

“This is a very strongly flavored Cabernet, most notable for the intensity of its blackberry, cherry and raspberry fruit. it's almost sweet, an impression furthered by the caramel of toasted oak, although in reality the wine is fully and appropriately dry. Delicious and flashy, it should evolve in the bottle over the next dozen years”

Wine Enthusiast - April 2011

Wine Advocate

91 Points

2007 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon

“The opaque ruby/purple-hued 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. Vineyard Estate exhibits medium to full body along with more concentration, intensity, depth, ripeness and structure. From a 36.5-acre estate vineyard contiguous to the FAY site, this offering may be the finest S.L.V. cuvee made in several decades. It needs another 1-3 years of bottle age, but should drink well for 15+.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Wine Advocate

93 Points

2007 CASK 23 Cabernet Sauvignon

“The flagship wine, the 2007 CASK 23 Estate is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and production is usually between 1,500-1,600 cases. Displaying finesse, power and measured restraint, this deep dark plum/purple-tinged 2007 reveals notes of black currants, Asian spices, sweet plums, Christmas fruitcake and cedar. This medium to full-bodied, delicate but substantial beauty should be consumed over the next 12-15 years.”

Wine Advocate - December 2010

Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine

90 Points

2005 CASK 23

“It is smooth and supple in feel with plenty of palatal weight and a fine sense of polish, and its neatly fit spine of firm structural tannins is precisely the stuff of fine Cabernet.”

Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, April 2009

Dan Berger‘s Vintage Experiences

A Personal Top 10 “Best Wineries”

“At a time when others feel compelled to shoot for more alcohol, more extract, and overripe flavors, this project remains true to the vision of the founder.”

Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences, December 11, 2008

Wine News

Legendary California Vineyards

“If anyone doubts the concept of terroir, they need only taste the FAY Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon or the CASK 23. The FAY makes a defining statement about this place on earth. CASK 23 refines and exalts it. To sip FAY is to taste classic Stags Leap—a solid core of concentrated fruit yet with smooth tannins and a voluptuous mouth-feel.”

Jeff Cox

Wine News, June/July 2008

Wall Street Journal

For Thanksgiving, Drink American, California Cabernet Celebrates History and Good Taste

2002 CASK 23

“BEST OF TASTING”

Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2007

Robb Report

Fine Wines and Spirits worthy of a place in your private cellar

2003 CASK 23

“…upholds the label’s reputation for power and elegance.”

Robb Report, April 2007

The Great Wines of America

The Top Forty Vintners, Vineyards, and Vintages

“Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. is delicious in its youth but perhaps even more delectable with seven to fifteen years of age, when its affinity to classic red Bordeaux comes to the fore.”

Paul Lukacs

The Great Wines of America, Copyright 2005