2014 POETRY CABERNET SAUVIGNON, STAGS LEAP DISTRICT
The Poetry Vineyard, carved into a steep west-facing hillside, reaches from the highest elevations of the Stags Leap District appellation to the valley floor. This vineyard draws its uniqueness from shallow soils atop fractured shale. Due to the stressful nature of the site, the small vines develop slowly and yield small flavorful berries.
95+ points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
“Always one of the stars of Napa is Cliff Lede’s Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry and the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot. Never the biggest wine made by Cliff Lede, this is an elegant, classic Stags Leap example with finesse allied to beautifully pure power and balance. Deep and rich and possibly, at this stage, less expressive than some of its siblings, it is simply loaded and poised for a brilliant future. Consumers should give this 4-5 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 25-30 years.” - Dec 2016
The 2014 vintage was a vintner’s dream. A dry winter with unseasonably warm temperatures prompted an early bud break, leading to one of the earliest harvests on record. Moderate weather throughout the spring and summer allowed the vines to achieve a good set. The dry conditions led to low vigor vines and small, abundant berries, creating very concentrated fruit that ripened with the warm fall days. With lovely autumn weather, harvest proceeded at a steady pace.
In the cool darkness of night, grapes were hand-picked into twenty-five pound bins to minimize crushing. By early morning, the grapes were subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process, which includes our cutting edge optical sorter and a slow, individual berry hand sort. The fruit was gently gravity-delivered to small tanks and wooden cuves by our unique crane system, which kept the berries intact. Cold soaks lasted from five to eight days, and fermentations were managed through a combination of pump overs and délestage. Extended maceration of up to six weeks ensured exceptional extraction and fine-tuning of tannin profiles. Following twenty-one months of élevage in French oak barrels, 72% of which were new, the blend was selected from our best lots of the Poetry Vineyard.