Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker Marcus Notaro

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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“Wine is valued by its price, not its flavour.”

Anthony Trollope

This statement holds a lot of truth as this was how the 1855 classification decided which wines would be classified and in what order.  They based their level of prestige by how much the wine costs, there was no blind tasting or tasting of any kind to set this classification it was done based on the amount of money the bottles sold for.

Today we have a great offering and a last minute addition to our calendar of events we usually do not post an event the day before it occurs but for one of the legends of the Napa Valley, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars- we will put together a last minute wine tasting.  Not to be confused with Stags' Leap Winery, note where the apostrophe lies on the second winery, it is after the "s".  This is one of the ways that you can tell which Stag we are referring to but the other is obviously the names are slightly different.  Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is the more famous of the two, this is the winery that came in 1st place for its 1974 Cabernet Sauvignon at the famous Paris Tasting were the great wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy were tasted blind against Napa Valley wines.  All the tasters were French and the results of this tasting put Napa Valley on the map for serious wine connoisseurs all over the world.

Join us as we welcome the Winemaker of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Marcus Notaro for this last-minute event which is only $125 + tax per person and we will be serving Cask 23!!  The Cask 23 alone sells for over twice the price of the event which includes dinner and five other wines!!  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

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Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Wine Tasting
with Special Guest Winemaker Marcus Notaro
Wednesday, February 19th

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2017 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc Napa
Price: $27.00  Sale $23.76
The 2017 AVETA Sauvignon Blanc offers expressive aromas of tangerine, lemongrass, nectarine and a hint of grass. On the palate, this top-rated Napa wine is fresh and lively with citrus flavors and a touch of orange blossom. The wine has a lingering finish with bright acidity. Fresh fish ceviche, crab cakes or grilled oysters with mignonette sauce.

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2017 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Chardonnay Karia Napa
List Price: $33.75      Your Price: $27.00

This graceful Chardonnay opens with aromas of peach, yellow apple, spice and a pleasing sweet cream vanilla note. The wine has a soft entry with citrus and light honey notes that lead to a lingering sweet lemon finish. There is a nice balance to the acidity and minerality that enhances the freshness and elegance of this wine.

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2017 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis
Price: $67.50           Sale $59.40

Expressive aromas of dark berries, currants, raspberry sorbet, nutmeg and baking spices. The wine has a rich entry with round tannins and plush mouthfeel with lingering flavors of dark fruit and subtle oak undertones.

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2016 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars SLV Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Magnum
Price: $465.00 Your Price: $409.20

(97 Points) A barrel sample, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon S. L. V. is deep purple-black and just a little reduced at this youthful stage, offering glimpses at crushed blackberries, mulberries and warm cassis notes plus hints of tilled soil, scorched earth, tar and black pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals incredibly provocative and complex layers of black fruits and earthy notions, supported by a rock-solid, grainy texture and plenty of freshness, finishing with great length and depth. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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2016 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $168.00             Your Price: $147.84

(96 Points) A barrel sample blended of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Vineyard is deep purple-black in color and begins just a tad broody, giving way to earth-laced blackcurrants, black cherries and warm plums plus suggestions of unsmoked cigars, charcuterie and tar. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely coated with energetic black fruits and savory layers, framed by firm, ripe tannins and background freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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2016 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $331.50             Your Price: $291.72


(98 Points) The deep purple-black colored barrel sample of 2016 Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon features compelling, youthful notes of freshly crushed red and black currants, black cherries, kirsch and mocha with nuances of Marmite toast, roasted nuts, underbrush and truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a very firm frame of super ripe tannins supporting the multilayered flavors, finishing on an epically long, lingering fragrant earth note. Beautiful. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


Cheese and Charcuterie Selections

Tuna Poke with Avocado, Toasted Cocoa Nibs, Jalapeno & Sweet Pineapple

Beef Shortrib with Cabernet Sauvignon Wild Mushroom Natural Sauce and Butter Whipped Mashed Potatoes


This last-minute event is only $125 + tax per person and we will be serving Cask 23!!  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

A bit of history behind Stag's Leap Wine Cellars:

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars had its beginnings in 1964 when owner-winemaker Warren Winiarski gave up a teaching job at the University of Chicago and moved his family west to the Napa Valley.  Winiarski lined up a not-so-glamorous job at Souverain (now Burgess Cellars), where he dragged hoses, cleaned out tanks, and did whatever other menial tasks there were to be done.  After two seasons at Souverain, Winiarski became one of the very first employees at the Robert Mondavi Winery.  Throughout his ground-up apprenticeship in the wine business, he was constantly tasting Napa Valley Cabernets grown all over the valley.  This experience led him to the spot where he would one day plant his own vineyard.  The decisive wine was a Cabernet made in the late 1960's from Nathan Fay's vineyard in what is now known as the Stags Leap District on the lower eastern side of the Napa Valley.  When an adjacent piece of property became available in 1970, Winiarski jumped at the opportunity to purchase it and develop his own vineyard from scratch.  Winiarski was very fortunate to be able to make 400 cases of a very good Cabernet in 1972 (a year that was a disaster for many other vintners in the Napa Valley).  1973, however, was the vintage that would make him an overnight star - both in the Napa Valley as well as in the international wine community.  Winiarski's life would change forever after a shocking announcement hit the wire services on a late spring day in May of 1976.  The news heralded the results of the now famous Paris Tasting.  In order to showcase American wines against the French, a very serious and important tasting was organized in Paris in conjunction with America's Bicentennial Celebration.  Some of the very best Bordeaux wines of the great 1970 vintage were matched blind against some California Cabernets (Chardonnays were also matched against White Burgundies).  The tasters were all French and included some of the most renowned personalities in the French wine trade.  The 1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet was selected as the best red wine of the tasting. (The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay finished first in the tasting of the whites).  Needless to say, the Paris Tasting sent reverberations through the wine world; and connoisseurs everywhere began to seek out Stag's Leap Cabernets.  Today, it is generally acknowledged that the 1976 Paris Tasting marked the coming of age of California wines and their recognition as world class competitors against the best in the world.  Winiarski went on to produce a succession of fine Cabernet Sauvignons - wines that have kept him in the forefront of California vintners for over thirty years.  The Stag's Leap Cabernets produced in the late 1970's were among the best in California, but many felt (including ourselves) that the winery began to slip in the early 1980's.  However, we are pleased to report that Stag's Leap Wine Cellars has begun to reemerge as a top producer once again - particularly on the strength of the vintages since 1990.

Presently, Stag's Leap produces five cabernet-based wines.  The finest lots, enhanced by a dollop of merlot and/or petit verdot (the latter imparts the wine's great depth of color), go into the winery's flagship wine, the CASK 23.  Once, there literally was a Cask #23.  It is gone now, but the name is used to represent the best the winery can make - and only in very good years.  Through 2005, only 24 of the 34 harvests have produced wine worthy of a CASK 23 designation.  Several of the CASK 23 Cabernets have been among the finest California Cabernets we have ever tasted.  The 1978 and the 1985 were two such wines.  This wine is now a proprietary wine, for Winiarski has dropped the designation Cabernet Sauvignon from the label.  This will allow him latitude to use less than 75% cabernet in the blend if future vintages warrant it.  The Fay Vineyard contributed to the CASK 23 blend for the first time in 1990.  Prior to that year, all of the CASK 23 came from the finer lots in the S.L.V. estate vineyard.

Next in the order of things would have to be the new Fay Vineyard bottling.  Thirdly, there is the S.L.V. bottling, which stands for Stag's Leap Vineyard (this is the winery's original vineyard.)  The S.L.V. Cabernets were once divided into Lots 1 and 2, depending on stylistic differences - today there is only one S.L.V. Cabernet.  At the bottom of the hierarchy there is a Napa Valley bottling produced from purchased fruit and supplemented with some fruit from the winery's estate vineyards, this wine has recently been given the name Artemis, named after the Greek goddess of the hunt, represents the winerys targeted approach of establishing this wine’s origin, style, and character as a gateway to their renowned estate wines.  Stag's Leap Wine Cellars also produces a Merlot, a Chardonnay, a single vineyard Chardonnay called Arcadia, a White Riesling, and a Sauvignon Blanc.  There is also a second label known as Hawk Crest; the latter wines are very reasonably priced and produced entirely from purchased grapes.

A partnership between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori proudly accepts the stewardship of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and its legacy as of 2007.

Marcus Notaro was named winemaker for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in May 2013. Prior to that, Notaro was winemaker for Col Solare, a prestigious winery located in the Red Mountain appellation of Washington State. Notaro’s understanding of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars signature wine style – one of elegance and balance, ripeness and restraint – as well as, his ability to express both the terroir of the vineyard and the true varietal character of the grape make him ideally suited for continuing the winemaking legacy at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.