Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. 2017


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2017 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon

S.L.V., also known as Stag’s Leap Vineyards, is the winery’s first vineyard.  Planted in 1970, this vineyard achieved international fame when three-yearold vines from the 1973 harvest produced a wine that stunned the wine world when it bested some of France’s greatest wines in a 1976 blind tasting known as the “Judgment of Paris.” Today, this history-making vineyard continues to produce wines with layers of complexity, spicy intensity and excellent structure—promising long life and ageability.

Vineyards & Winemaking

As most of the 1970s-era vines have aged past their grape-producing prime, they have been gradually replanted, perpetuating the life of this historic vineyard. All the vineyard blocks are represented in the 2017 offering, including S.L.V. Block 4 – the “grande dame” of the vineyard – which was planted in 1972. These vines along with blocks on the eastern side of S.L.V., characterized by their fire-borne volcanic soils, give this wine its structure and sense of minerality along with concentrated dark fruit flavors and ripe, elegant tannins. Vines in alluvial soils in the western part of the vineyard add vibrant fruit accent notes and heady aromatics. Each lot was vinified and aged separately in small French oak barrels for 21 months, allowing the characteristics of each block to develop. With this vintage, Winemaker Marcus Notaro used careful barrel selection to marry the unique graphite, dark fruit and cocoa characters of S.L.V. to the barrel type and toast level. In the latter stages of aging, the barrel lots were blended to create this 2017 offering.


The 2017 vintage was a memorable one with more than its fair share of historic challenges – but it resulted in very high-quality fruit at lower yields. We started with a wet winter that brought much-needed water after several years of drought. Spring and summer temperatures alternated between unusually cool and unusually hot with a record-breaking heat wave over Labor Day weekend. Just as harvest was reaching its final crescendo, on October 8th tragic wildfires broke out that burned throughout Napa and Sonoma counties. At Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the Atlas Peak
fire burned right down to the edge of the estate vineyards. Thankfully the vineyard served as a giant fire break and the winery was undamaged and our employees were safe. We give a special thank you to the cellar and maintenance teams who demonstrated incredible dedication to wine quality in restoring power to the winery and caring for the fermenting wines under extreme conditions.


The 2017 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon offers generous aromas of dark chocolate, graphite, truffle, dried fig and a lovely touch of violet. Rich and refined on the mid-palate, the wine has a long and well-structured finish with a dusty cocoa powder note. The tannin structure, rich dark fruit, and pleasing minerality point to this wine’s ability to age. Enjoy with Moroccan-spiced Shrimp over sweet potato mash, grilled buffalo burgers with caramelized onions & Havarti cheese or baked chicken with hazelnut Mole sauce.

Harvest Dates: Sept. 9 – Oct. 14, 2017
Alcohol: 14.8%
pH: 3.72
TA: 0.55 g/100ml
Fermentation: 100% stainless steel tank
Fermentation: 100%
Barrel Aging: 21 months
100% new French oak
Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Stag’s Leap District,
Napa Valley (100% estate)
Release Date: May 2020
Suggested Retail
Cases Produced: 2,096
Marcus Notaro