CASK 23, made only in exceptional vintages, is usually a blend of the most distinctive fruit from Stag's Leap Wine Cellars' S.L.V. and FAY estate vineyards. But now, thirty years after a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from S.L.V. won the legendary Paris tasting, they return to this vineyard as the sole source of inspiration for the 2003 blend. The 2003 CASK 23 is a wine of rich flavors and luscious, supple tannins. It opens with welcoming aromas of savory spices that marry with floral notes and s...
Appellation AmericaIt 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 read more...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. (hide)
Connoisseurs' Guide to California WinesNicely extracted and filled with plenty of ripe, black-cherry fruit, this generously oaked bottling is accented by touches of coffee and hints of herbs not found in its cellarmates. It is moderately full in body and closes with a nominally tannic pucker drying its finish, and its somewhat unevolved manner makes five years of aging a good idea.
International Wine CellarRuby-red. Currant, dark chocolate, bandaid and eucalyptus on the nose. Juicy and flavorful, with a fresh flavor of crunchy currant and more depth than the S.L.V. bottling; here the acids are bright but more harmonious.Finishes with sweet tannins and a leathery nuance.