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My February Wine of the Month

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is an integral part of Napa history.  Founder Warren Winiarski is one of the pioneers of the wine industry in the Napa Valley.  His 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon placed an extremely impressive first place in the famous 1976 Paris Tasting, beating nine other wines, which included four top-ranked Bordeaux, two of these first growths.  The success of the California wines in “The Judgment of Paris” significantly helped to give California wines legitimacy around the world!

The Wine – I love the wines of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.  Their Fay Vineyard and Cask 23 wines are a couple of my favorite California Cabs!

This 2008 Artemis is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot.  The color is a dark garnet.  The nose has some rose petal and green earth.  I also detected piecrust, which I assume is a muted vanilla aroma from the oak.

The wine is nicely balanced.  With 18 months in barrel (55% in new French oak), there is not too much oak.  The terrior comes through nicely.  The palate also has some leather, blackberry and black currant.

The 2008 Artemis is drinking nicely now (with an hour in the decanter), but will only get better with a couple of years in the bottle.

My Experiences Visiting the Winery – While visiting the winery a few years ago, the gal pouring for us wasn’t very warm and fuzzy.  We also had the opportunity to attend a tasting in their caves, which more than made up for the lack of love we’d received earlier.  I’m heading to Napa next week, so I’ll check them out again.  I’ve heard that some exciting improvements are being made since my last visit.  I’ll be sure to write about this visit in my blog.

The Journey – Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is located right on Silverado Trail, which is a lovely road west of busy Highway 29.  They are located in the famous Stags Leap district north of the city of Napa.

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