Winery Tasting Notes: “The Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon is our hallmark expression of the estate vineyard surrounding our winery. It is dark, elegant and rich with aromas of black fruits, mocha and spice. The palate is met with complex notes of forest fruits, dark espresso and vanilla and the mouthfeel is balanced and creamy. The tannins are classic Stags Leap District; well structured, velvety and perfectly integrated, making this wine approachable now but also worthy of cellaring for decades.”
Wine Advocate Review (90 points): “The flagship wine that made Clos du Val famous (I especially remember their 1973 and 1974) is the Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District. The 2012 possesses sweet, ripe (but not overripe) black currant and black cherry fruit, dusty, loamy, forest floor notes, medium body, attractive elegance, and a broad, savory mouthfeel. The tannins are present, but well-integrated. This elegant, finesse-styled Cabernet should drink well for 10 to15+ years.”
Blend: 78% cabernet sauvignon; 16% merlot; 4% cabernet franc; 2% petit verdot
Alcohol Level: 14.1%
Cases Produced: 4,200
Winemaker: Ted Henry
Maturity: Both the winery and Wine Advocate indicate this is a wine that can sleep in your cellar for a long, long time. With 16% merlot blended in, the tannins are held at bay to make this wine an excellent choice for dinner tonight.
Pairings: This wine begs to be matched with superior cuts of beef. . .filet, strip, tenderloin. . .but if trip-tip is on the menu, it will work, too.
Staff Review, GARY MOFFAT: Ellen and I schlepped the Airstream to the Mendocino coast last weekend and stayed at Caspar Beach, a tidy campground adjacent to the ocean. On the second night, I grilled ground lamb burgers and we paired it with a bottle of the Clos du Val cab. The cuisine, though very tasty, was a bit over matched for such a magnificent bottle, but we make do on the road.
What’s significant and timely about featuring the Clos du Val this month is the winery (oddly enough, a French-inspired name) first came to prominence in 1976 when it was recognized at the so-called “Judgment of Paris,” 40 years ago this month. In fact, the then-wine merchant responsible for staging the blind tasting that pit American wines against French, Steven Spurrier, is speaking at a dinner in San Francisco on May 12. Current vintages of some of the wines tasted then will be served with a four-course dinner at the University Club of San Francisco. . .but better hurry. . .tickets are going fast at $380 each!