James Suckling 94
Linear and tight chardonnay with sliced apple and lemon. Pear and mineral undertones, too. Medium to full body, firm acidity and freshness. Crisp. Only 25 new oak. Pretty vivid.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 90
The 2019 Chardonnay was aged for seven months in 30 stainless steel, 17 new oak and 53 neutral oak. It comes sailing effortlessly out of the glass with notes of ripe yellow apple, fresh apricots and warm pears with hints of allspice, honey toast and paraffin wax. The medium-bodied palate is crisp, clean and refreshing with loads of citrusy accents and a spiced apple finish
This Chardonnay is a story of balance, a delicious intersection of richness and minerality that benefits from the classical standard of viticulture, care of the land, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was in 1893 when Stags' Leap Winery celebrated its first vintage.
The boisterous bouquet invites you in with lively aromas of delicate Meyer lemon, orange blossom, fresh white peach and delicate honeysuckle, supported by more subtle notes of Tarte Tatin and brioche toast (a nod to the well-integrated French Oak). Fresh, vibrant and mouthwatering, the palate is crisp with layers of ripe Golden Delicious apple, guava and warm Asian pear, backed up by a luscious texture that is rich and balanced (hinting at the delicate batonnage lees stirring that occurs during the winemaking process). Well-integrated notes of vanilla, allspice and crme brle lead to a lengthy finish that is full and bright. Maintaining a core of fresh acidity, this Chardonnay is graceful and elegant, full of depth and complexity.
The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. The grapes ripened nicely with beautiful maturity and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, vibrant acidity and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. Wildfires in October did not impact this years harvest as the vast majority of the grapes were already brought in, resulting in a crop size pretty much on par with previous years. The resulting 2019 wines are of very high quality with concentrated flavors and excellent acidity, especially for varieties like Chardonnay.
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The Stags' Leap Estate
ON THE WATERSHED OF THE STAGS LEAP PALISADES, ONE OF CALIFORNIA'S EARLIEST WINE ESTATES...
On one of California's earliest wine estates, a unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago.
An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags' Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.
Winemaking is traditional here, focused on a pure expression of the land. We didn't invent winemaking; we just work hard at it. Everything is well-informed by experience and classic winemaking technique, but nothing is rote or formulaic. Decisions are made based on the fruit itself, and the conditions of each and every harvest. Our consistent quality of wines comes from this balancing act. Our wines are well made. They're delicious, showing finesse and integrity.