2013 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Cask 23" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1256552 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 is backward, but concentrated, with beautiful blue, red and black fruits, spring flowers, a touch of toasty oak, relatively noticeable tannin and a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel. This is coiled tight compared to the 2012, but has fabulous upside potential. Forget it for another 3-4 years and drink it over the following 25-30 years. (RP) 97+  (12/2016)

96 points Vinous

 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CASK 23 is another total knock-out from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Sculpted and nuanced, the 2013 presents a striking mélange of typical Stags Leap notes. Violets, lavender, mint, cloves, graphite and dark spice are some of the signatures in a Cabernet that achieves a compelling balance of power, finesse and overall intensity. This tightly coiled Cabernet is going to need a few years to fully come together, but it is terrific and a great example of what Stags Leap Cabernets are all about. New owner Chateau Ste. Michelle, along with minority partner Antinori, has done a magnificent job with these 2013s. In fact, the wines are so brilliant and such a significant departure from the past that I tasted through the range twice. New winemaker Marcus Notaro has introduced a more contemporary, fruit-driven style at Stag's Leap. More importantly, these 2013s show none of the flaws that marred some wines in the past. Needless to say, it will be fascinating to see where things go, but one thing is clear; the three flagship Cabernets are all fabulous. (AG)  (12/2015)

96 points Wine & Spirits

 Marcus Notaro came to SLWC from Col Solare in Washington State. He blended the 2012s and worked on the 2013s with Kirk Grace, who manages the two estate vineyards—S.L.V. and Fay—that come together in Cask 23. Fay is an alluvial wash on the valley floor below the Stags Leap escarpment, with some blocks higher up the hillside, where the soils share more of the volcanic rock of S.L.V., a less fertile and faster draining colluvial mix fallen down from the hills above. Notaro uses those upper blocks of Fay and S.L.V. to build structure in Cask 23, as well as selections from vines on the lower, silty soils that offer a lighter, more fragrant Cabernet. What’s remarkable about this 2013 is how those elements combine in a wine with the textural richness and polish of great Stags Leap District Cabernet and then expand into fragrance. It’s a wine with forward motion, what senior editor Luke Sykora described as “a torrent of fruit in the middle, propulsive fruit that pushes the oak to the side.” The lasting impression is savory and bright, a wine that looks up to the future, one that will live long among the greats of the 2013 vintage in Napa Valley.  (12/2016)

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Price: $239.99

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5