2009 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "SLV" Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine & Spirits
The finesse of Stags Leap District tannins is at the center of this wine, buoying pure cherry fruit from the initial scent through to a lasting finish. This is firm and vinous, with a depth and breadth that makes it a strong candidate for cellaring ten years or more. A graceful vintage of S.L.V.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. The changes that have taken place at Stags Leap Wine Cellars over the last few years are nothing less than stunning. The Antinori family bought a 15% stake in Stags Leap Wine Cellars in 2007 and was appointed technical director as part of the deal. Long time winemaker Renzo Cotarella, who oversees all of the Antinori wines in Italy plus Antica on Atlas Peak, was brought in to consult... Quality takes a meaningful step up in 2009 as the Cabernets acquire elegance and finesse.
This carefully composed, very keenly defined Cabernet makes no great show of dramatic ripeness or extravagant oak, but it instead keys in on incisive currant fruit and quickly takes on a claret-like elegance that it never relinquishes. Moderately full-bodied and slightly supple in feel with a trim spine of very fine-grained tannins, it already exhibits intriguing touches of olives and oak and rooty spice, and there is no question but that it will continue to grow for another ten tears of more by virtue of its exemplary structure and depth.
Founded early 1970s and the SLV vineyard planted in 1970, though much of the block has been replanted gradually. Warren Winiarski trained in the Mondavi stable but became mentor to so many winemakers. His 'progeny', some say, are responsible for the a good deal of the reputation of the Napa Valley. 20 months in French oak, 84% new. Black core, purplish rim. More intensely cassis than the Monte Bello, Corison's Kronos or Spottswoode. Coffee aroma. Very oaky nose. Toast and char. Too much. Sweet, rich cassis on the nose, hint of something floral as it opens up. Soft and velvety. Concentrated but surprisingly gentle in its structure, or at least it seems so, though there is massive structure underneath. Overwhelmed by oak sweetness on the finish but having tasted some older vintages, I would expect it to improve with a few more years in bottle.
Savory and complex, with dried herb and berry, tobacco, subtle currant and olive notes. Elegant, with persistent flavors. Drink now through 2023.
The SLV bottling is from Stag's Leap estate vineyard. Planted in 1970, this vineyard produced the winning Cabernet in the "Judgement of Paris" in 1976. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon spent 20 months in 84% new French oak. From the winery: "Rich and inviting, this Cabernet Sauvignon offers powerful blackberry and black cherry aromas with hints of cigar box and spice. The black fruit carries over onto the palate and is accented by notes of anise, mandarin orange, violets and cassis. The tannins are smooth and fine-grained, allowing the wine to flow smoothly across the palate. The wine has great acidity and a persistent fruit-driven finish."