2018 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

¥15,840 (incl. tax)

Cliff Lede’s exemplary SLV Cab is the product of two estate vineyards: the Twin Peaks Ranch Vineyard, surrounding the winery, and the Poetry Vineyard on the eastern slopes looking down. The combination of ancient riverbed and rocky, volcanic soils gives the wine awesome depth, complexity, as well as a Graves-like minerality that’s characteristic of the Stags Leap District. The Wine Enthusiast called it “a focused and youthfully grippy wine, showing a fervor of succulent red- and black-currant and licorice. Thick, rich, and intensely structured, it possesses a mineral-like earthiness of crushed rock and enduring structure.” A wine so rich as this would pair well with steak au poivre, ragout of beef or lamb, or braised duck breast.


Winery Description

Elegant... brilliant color.... lush and velvety.... fine cherry and red berry flavors... soft tannins.... Those notes capture Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap AVA. In the summer, these jagged, southwest-facing hills, stretching from the northeastern Napa City limits to the outer edge of Yountville, are toasted by the hot afternoon sun but cooled by the nighttime fog that rolls in off the San Pablo Bay. This climate along with well-drained alluvial and volcanic soils are the reason why Stags Leap wineries focus almost exclusively on Cabernet – the district works magic with the Bordeaux varietals. 

Purchasing vineyards and a winery near Yountville in 2002 makes Cliff Lede (pronounced Lay-dee) a newcomer to the Napa Valley, yet he grasped instinctively that his estate’s raison d’etre was to make transcendent Cabernet. With his vineyard manager, David Abreu, he has revived or replanted the vineyards and divided them into blocks according to varietal as well as subtle shifts in soil type, clonal or rootstock selection. The 60-acre estate comprises two diverse sets of vineyard. On the valley floor, the Twin Peaks Ranch surrounds the winery and contains all five of the major Bordeaux varietals. The Poetry Vineyard – mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and a bit of Cab Franc and Petit Verdot – is situated on the hills that rise up from the opposite side of the Silverado Trail. 

In the state-of-the-art, gravity-flow winery, grapes are meticulously hand-sorted and the wines may be fermented in egg-shaped cement tanks as well as more traditional stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. More significantly, each vineyard block will be fermented separately, ensuring that the particular qualities of each small patch of soil will have a chance to blossom before the final blend is made. Though many of the choices made in the vineyards and winery are labor intensive and costly, Cliff Lede is willing to make them in order to fashion the sort of wine expected from a part of the Earth as special as Stags Leap. 

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Napa Valley
Sub-Ava Stags Leap District
Winery Cliff Lede
Vintage 2018
Color Red
Varietal(s) 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.0 x 30.5
Case Size 33.5 x 26.0 x 31.5
Alcohol 14.9%
Product Code CF18NCB
UPC 008261110193

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

95 points – Wine Enthusiast; 93 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

Dazzling aromas of blackberry, blueberry, and dark chocolate, with hints of licorice, earth, cumin, and leather, precede a lithe and rich palate that offers layers of black fruits and spring flowers with velvety tannins. Despite the intensity, the wine is elegant, structured, and long in the finish.



Handpicked grapes were sorted by hand and optical sorter. A seven-day cold soak preceded fermentation and extended maceration of up to five weeks. The wine aged 21 months in 32% new French oak.

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