2003 Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1019299 90 points Wine & Spirits

 Dark scents of blackberry and black olive show this wine's richness up front. It has the cool feel of a conifer forest, hinting at juniper and cedar, lasting on a more peppery spice. Serve this with savory dishes, like lamb shank braised with rosemary and bay.  (8/2006)

90 points Wine Enthusiast

 This is bigger, bolder and less supple than the Elevage Rouge, with more monochromatic cassis flavors framed by oaky notes of vanilla and cinnamon. Turns a bit chocolaty on the finish. While the Elevage will match roasts, this is more of a steak wine.  (9/2006)

Jancis Robinson

 A hint of gamey leather notes and goji berries and autumn leaves. Lovely dried tobacco leaf coming through on both the palate and the nose. Very easy to drink, gentle tannins, with a savoury light imprint on the tongue.  (11/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Tasting through Chimney Rock’s three offerings, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap (14.1% natural alcohol) exhibits the elegance and finesse one expects from the southern end of Napa Valley. It offers notes of black currants and plum sauce, medium body and a soft, fruity, reasonably well-endowed style. Made to appeal to many consumers, it is not the biggest, richest nor most polite, reserved, understated effort. I like it for its elegance and finesse. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. (RP)  (6/2013)

K&L Notes

The color of this beauty is a deep and dense red velvet, which makes you think the wine will taste velvety, too. Boy, does it ever! Aromatics of red plums and blackberry are interlaced with vanilla and hints of cocoa and clove. On the palate a voluptuous burst of fruit is followed by an enveloping mid palate with an ensuing bright delicate finish. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Each variety was fermented separately in stainless steel. Aged for 18 months in 50% new and 50% used French oak.

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Price: $59.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
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.