Legend has it that a great stag, escaping a hunting party, leaped from peak to peak on palisades towering over the Napa Valley below. Located on the Vaca Range, six miles north of the city of Napa, Stags Leap District was the first Napa Valley AVA to be designated specifically because of the uniqueness of its soils. They vary from river sediments of loam with a clay substructure, to volcanic mountain erosions. A mere two square miles - over half of which is vineyard - the district produces wines (particularly Cabernets) that walk softly but carry a big stick. These are powerful wines with firm tannins. Yet, even in a Valley where "Cab is King", they have a sense of elegance and grace that sets them apart from other Cabernets. In 1976, at a blind tasting in Paris, nine judges awarded first place to a 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet, ahead of the great growths of Bordeaux. That historic event not only put this tiny appellation on the map, but solidified California's claim as one of the world's great wine regions.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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Madame Merlot, you’re a big gal, soft and smoky; how we love your full, curvaceous figure. But you are
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