2008 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars "Chase Creek" Napa Valley Merlot (Previously $75)
The 2008 vintage was the second under new ownership, and Robert Parker praised the changes being undertaken: "Dramatic improvements are clearly underway at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, which was sold to a consortium led by Tuscany’s Piero Antinori in 2007. Antinori brought in well-known consultant Renzo Cotarella to improve the quality and, hopefully, get this winery back to the lofty heights it achieved in the seventies and early eighties. They seem to be well on their way, which is good news for consumers. This is a large estate of 104 acres, all situated as one giant block of vineyards in the southern part of the Stags Leap appellation. The change in ownership and winemaking staff shows progressive improvement with each vintage starting with 2007." (12/2010) The 2008 Chase Creek Merlot, according to the winemaker, is "packed with aromas of red cherry, pomegranate, nutmeg, cardamom, cocoa powder and rosemary. These notes meld with pleasing flavors of bright cherry, chocolate-covered candied orange peel and smoky oak. This is a classic example of what Merlot should be: complex, balanced, supple and refreshing."