2003 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District
Now ten years from the current release, this 2003 displays notes of clove, cinnamon, wild cherry, and tea, while finishing with a smooth palate of cocoa. - tasted December 2015.
Stags Leap District
Fruit was sourced primarily from our estate vineyard on the Yountville Cross Road and the hillside terraces of our Poetry vineyard. Many vineyard blocks, comprising a wide range of rootstocks, clonal selections and trellis systems are included in this blend.
Hand harvested into small 35-pound boxes, the grapes were destemmed to tank for a five-day, pre-fermentation cold soak. The juice was inoculated and the wine underwent a short (seven days) and warm fermentation in an effort to promote extraction. Selected lots were held on the skins after fermentation for nearly a month to further develop the tannin structure. The wine was racked into thin-stave French, chateau style oak barrels (seventy-six percent of which were new), where the wine was aged for twenty months. The final blend is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot.
Notes upon release in 2006: Marked by elegance and finesse, the 2003 Cliff Lede Stags Leap Cabernet is a pure example of the tender persona of the Stags Leap Appellation. This wine possesses a forward bouquet of rosehips, cassis, cedar, graphite, licorice and crushed flowers, which greet the senses shortly after opening. In the mouth one is met with flavors of black cherry liqueur, clove, and a delicate spice. This wine widens across the palate to reveal a rich body with very fine, smooth tannins and a pleasing acidity, which draws out with superb intensity and length.