(94 - 96 points) “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 Estate-Grown is a big-time winner with great fruit, terrific texture, full body, sensational purity and plenty of blue and black fruits interwoven. The amazing thing about all of these wines is that no oak shows through whatsoever, although I suspect the percentage of new oak is relatively high. That's an example of the extravagance and richness of the fruit that the winery is achieving. Again, purity, harmony, complexity and individuality are hallmarks of these wines. Drink this 2014 Cask 23 over the next 25 years.”
The Wine Advocate Robert Parker, December 30, 2016
Complex fruit aromas along with notes of brown sugar, black tea and violet.
On the palate, this opulent Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich mouthfeel with flavors complementing the aromas.
The wine’s tannins and texture are on the line between elegance and power and lead to a very long, plush finish.
Blend:100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Total Acidity:0.55 g/100 mL
Barrel Aging:21.5 months, 90% new French oak
Fermentation:100% stainless steel tank
STAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS
The story of CASK 23 began 40 years ago, during the harvest of 1974. Back then, the winery enlisted the help of celebrated winemaker André Tchelistcheff. As he tasted through various lots of new wines from that year, one lot from S.L.V. was so beautiful and deliciously distinct the winery decided it should be bottled separately. It was named CASK 23 for the large wooden cask in which it was aged. Today, the wine is a blend of the most distinctive fruit from the S.L.V and FAY vineyards, resulting in a wine of extraordinary depth and richness balanced by restraint. Over the years, CASK 23 has become one of the most highly regarded and collected wines worldwide.
Vineyards & Winemaking
CASK 23 is a tale of two vineyards that come together in a harmonious blend. For the 2014 offering, 56% of the fruit is from S.L.V. (blocks 3B, 2A, 3A, 4C) and 44% from FAY vineyard (blocks 3B, 7AB, 2A, 9, 8C1). Specific blocks within these adjoining ranches provide distinct attributes to the wine. Vines planted in volcanic soils on the eastern hillsides of S.L.V. and FAY give CASK 23 its structure, concentration, spicy intensity and elegant tannins; those grown in the alluvial soils in the middle and lower sections of the two vineyards add vibrant fruit flavors, a supple mid-palate and perfumed aromatics. Each lot was vinified and aged separately in small French oak barrels for 21.5 months, allowing the characteristics of each block to develop, while adding subtle spice notes. In the latter stages of aging the lots were blended, becoming one in CASK 23.
2014 was the third in a string of excellent vintages in Napa Valley. After a bone-dry winter and several years of drought conditions, much needed rain arrived in March that filled the soils with moisture. The rain fell at the perfect time and changed the direction of the growing season. In January, the winery team was strategizing to farm for small canopies, tannic fruit and low yields due to the drought. With the March rains, however, the focus in the vineyards shifted to controlling crop size and managing vine vigor. While 2014 was a warm year, there were no extreme heat events. Daytime highs were average yet evenings weren’t as cool as normal, giving the vines an ideal growing climate. This allowed the grape varietals to ripen one after another, so grapes were picked and brought into the winery when they were ready. The resulting wines are of extremely high quality with ripe fruit flavors (at lower sugar levels), elegant tannins and great balance.
The 2014 CASK 23 combines the signature perfume notes of FAY vineyard with the structure and minerality of S.L.V. The wine has complex fruit aromas (black cherry, currant, plum and blueberry jam) along with notes of brown sugar, black tea and violet. On the palate, this opulent Cabernet Sauvignon has a rich mouthfeel with flavors complementing the aromas. The wine’s tannins and texture are on the line between elegance and power and lead to a very long, plush finish. Enjoy this CASK 23 with grilled Rib Eye, prime rib roast or braised short-ribs on creamy polenta.