2001 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Cask 23" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1010979 96 points Wine Enthusiast

 **Cellar Selection** Classic Napa Cab, right up there with the greats. Somehow manages to combine monstrous power with understated elegance. The strength is obviously in the ripe fruit and elaborate oak, while the subtlety lies in the soft tannins and impeccable balance. It’s a wine you return to over and over, trying to figure it out, but it’s always a step ahead. Drink now, with rich fare, or age through 2020.  (2/2005)

94 points Connoisseurs Guide

 **Two Stars** Everything about this wine says "Wait ten years" if one wants aged perfection in a slightly riper wine. Of course, its wonderful sense of depth, its keen focus and its lovely supple yet firm presence on the palate may invite earlier drinking, and, in point of fact, there is never any requirement to wait for a wine to be reach its 25th birthday before opening it. But, we will certainly hold a couple of bottles because this wine should comfortably last that long. And, that perhaps, is the message of the Cask 23 bottlings in particular. One could get lured in by their refinement and miss the underlying potential to get even better over time.  (4/2010)

Decanter

 Rich nose. Powerful oak. Dense. Plums, Rich, sleek, has more elegance than most and less massive. Nicely balanced, light coffee tone on finish.  (1/2005)

Jancis Robinson

 Interesting racy wine with some sweetness but also some interest. Great balance and a savoury aspect. Rather racy in the context of these California Cabernets. Sleek and yet dry on the finish. Well done! Slightly inky but a serious wine. 18/20 points.  (5/2006)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Dark ruby-red. Ripe aromas of currant, sassafras, bitter chocolate, cured meat and menthol. At once sweet and green in the mouth. The dark fruit and earthy flavors are given a dry edge by the wine's strong menthol and herbal elements. And yet this concentrated, extremely backward wine has a distinct roundness and sweetness in the middle. Finishes quite dry and persistent, in need of at least five or six years of aging. (ST)  (2/2005)

Wine Spectator

 Marked by grainy, loamy earth and dried berry, extending to tobacco, mineral, cedar. Mature and holding, but little has changed in a decade. 2001 California Cabernet blind retrospective. (Web-2011)

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.