"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." 95+ points. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Dec 2016
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, volcanic soils atop fractured shale. Due to the stressful nature of the site, planted with high vine density and farmed to very low yields, the vines develop slowly and produce small flavorful berries.
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. The final blend is composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot
The young 2014 Poetry is a tightly wound rose bud that slowly unfolds its petals of aromas with time. The brooding and mineral laden nose is loaded with cold slate, graphite, and violets. Concentrated flavors of wild blackberry, Aztec chocolate, summer fig, and roasted red beets charm the entry while spice notes of cumin, sage, and cracked pepper lend complex and layered nuance. The wine’s luxurious velvety texture fills the palate as the lengthy finish continues with unctuous cassis, black olive, and clove. This is a wine with a lot of heart, so patience will reward the enduring collector who can stash this beauty away for a few years. -Christopher Tynan, Winemaker