Stags’ Leap Winery is located in Napa Valley along the Silverado trail. This region of Napa is primo real estate as many wonderful Cabernet based wines, as well as other varietals, are born here. The winery and tasting room are set very far back from the road so you really feel secluded once you are there. The tastings are by appointment only and the day we visited we were the only people there. An adorable stone house is the tasting room which is the first indicator that this is a unique and special winery.
The tasting started with the 06 Chardonnay from Carneros. This wine is made in the style of Chablis in the Burgundy region of France. The Gypsy Camp red was next which is a blend of Mouvedre and Carignane, similar to a Rhone style blend ($50). This wine was smooth and fruity with lower tannin levels and minimal oak. This wine pairs with foods typically suited to Pinot Noir. Next up were two Cabernets (04 Napa Valley $48 and 02 The Leap Estate Cab $75). Both were great. The former was dry and peppery and the latter luscious and smooth.
The last wine we tasted is one that this winery is well known for. The 05 Napa Valley Petite Syrah ($38). This is a wonderful steak wine full of body and pepper. It is 85% Petite Syrah and blended with Viognier and other french varietal reds.
One thing to note as I was confused about this when I first learned about this winery and tried to visit. There are two wineries with similar names – Stags’ Leap Winery and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Different wineries, different location of apostrophe and different wines.
Downsides? You need an appointment and the tasting takes a while. But the wines are great and some of them (Petite Syrah) are very affordable for the quality.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars – recommend