Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon , FAY (Stags Leap District)

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon , FAY
(Stags Leap District ~ Napa Valley)

It was from this vineyard – Nathan Fay’s – in 1969 where it all started for Warren Winiarski and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. When he tasted Fay’s ‘68 Cabernet from this vineyard, he fell in love. Recently, Winiarski told me of that experience:

“(When) I tasted Nathan Fay’s wine … it all fell together. It was so profound. It expressed what was (heretofore) partial to what I had tasted. It was a culmination. I didn’t articulate that, but this was a feeling. … It had freshness, acidity. It had a unique combination of softness and structure, strength and suppleness. It had a perfume that was characteristic of rose pedals and black cherry. It had persisted. It had fine-grained structural elements. It felt like linen as it moved across your palate. It resonated. It had length and intricacies.”

Winiarski bought that vineyard in 1986, and from it he’s produced some great wines, including this one. I may not be capable of putting it as eloquently as Winiarski, but the 2003 Fay I believe is aromatic with the satin-like structure to which he spoke. And there’s also the power to which he noted with the ’68, as well as the fine-grained tannin. There’s layer-upon-layer of fruit – blackberry now instead of black cherry – mineral and acidity. Hold onto it for a year or so, and relish it for another 25 years.

The wine was fermented for 27 months in French oak, 87 percent of which was new. The listed alcohol is a restrained 13.7 percent.

Reviewed October 24, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

Other reviewed wines from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars


The Wine

Winery: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
Vineyard: FAY
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Stags Leap District ~ Napa Valley
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: 750ml $80.00

Review Date: 10/24/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.