Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 'Karia' Chardonnay 2009
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Robert Parker 90
"There are 25,000 cases of the 2009 Chardonnay Karia. Part of this cuvee is put through malolactic and about one-third is aged in stainless steel and two-thirds in wood. This light straw-colored Chardonnay is a Napa Valley regional blend as opposed to an estate Chardonnay. It offers up aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle and lemon oil in its medium-bodied, crisp, fresh style. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years.
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. The 2009s look to be their best wines to date."