Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
A Bottle Fitting a Revolution: Limited Edition CASK 23 Release
The 30th anniversary of the 1976 Paris Tasting, in which our 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon bested some of the top- rated French Bordeaux of the day, has been celebrated with numerous retrospective tastings and reenactments for wine writers, judges and members of the wine trade. Now, we’re delighted to mark this historic event with the release of 73 limited edition 3-litre commemorative bottles of our 2003 CASK 23 Cabernet Sauvignon.
In searching for a fitting design for these special bottles, we became intrigued with a brass armillary sphere which is displayed here at the winery. The sphere depicts the Copernican theory of the solar system, revolutionary at the time, in which the sun, not the earth, occupies the center.
This theory represented a complete shift in the way people viewed the universe at the time. In the same way, the Paris Tasting had a revolutionary effect on the world of wine. It astonished wine aficionados and destroyed long-held beliefs.
There’s no doubt that the Paris Tasting, sometimes called the “Judgment of Paris,” shocked wine connoisseurs and shifted the thinking about California vs. French wines. When it was revealed that the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon and a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay had outranked their French counterparts, including what were considered to be the finest French Bordeaux and Burgundies, a collective “Sacre bleu!” could practically be heard the world over.
But while the Paris Tasting occupies a significant place in California wine history, it is a treasured part of American history as well. In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution recognizing the 30th anniversary of the California victory and the historical significance of the event to the U.S. wine industry.
The current international recognition of California as one of the best winegrowing regions in the world began with the Paris Tasting. Now, thirty years later, these 73 bottles commemorate that turning point and dramatic shift in the course of California – and American – wine history, one that will continue to be referenced, remembered and written about for a long time to come.
As is only fitting, each hand-etched, painted and numbered bottle is housed in a custom walnut box, and is being made available to collectors for $1,976 – a nod to the year of this most revolutionary of events.