2015 Martin Ray Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
We sourced our 2015 Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon from a collection of tiny vineyard blocks encompassing several row orientations and slopes, all carefully planted to optimize sun exposure. The soil in the Stags Leap District is composed of ancient volcanic alluvial runoff which produces low yields with great intensity and flavor.
The culmination of factors from another drought year in California surprised us with another wonderful vintage. An unseasonably dry and warm winter, which led to an early spring, forced the vines into bud break during peak frost season. However, the spring weather stayed mild during fruit set and led into a relatively warm summer which hastened ripening to unprecedented early harvest dates. Although the crop, overall, was lighter (and much, much earlier), than we've seen in several years, the outstanding quality of the fruit and resulting wines cannot be understated.
All contributing lots are fermented in small 4-6 ton open top fermenters with at least thrice daily pump overs for cap management. After the wine has finished fermentation and gone dry, it is allowed to rest on its skins for up to a month before being drained and pressed via the gentle basket press. Aged for 18 months in 65% new French oak.
Our Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is often defined by its subtlety in contrast to the much more immodest mountain Cabernets, with deep red currant, morello cherry, and fresh raspberry . As is typical of the Stags Leap District Cabernet, it is always the first out of the gate with an early appreciable mellowing of its tannins and forward presentation. Subtle nutmeg, dried sage, and plum offer a lingering finish of quintessential Napa terroir.