Wine & Spirits Magazine today announced the Top 100 Wineries of the Year: a collection of producers from around the world with the most exceptional track records in the magazine's blind tastings this year. The Top 100 Wineries will pour their highest-rated wines at 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, at City View at METREON in San Francisco, a benefit for San Francisco Baykeeper.
"Our blind tasting panels assessed more than 14,500 new wine releases this year—a record number—making the selection of our Top 100 Wineries that much more competitive," says Wine & Spirits editor and publisher Joshua Greene. "These are the top performers from around the world and they'll all be pouring their highest rated wines at our Top 100 Event. It's a chance to talk with some of the most talented winemakers working today and taste their wines. It's also a chance to pair those wines with food from our Bay Area New & Notable Restaurants."
The Top 100 Tasting Event attracts high-level wine enthusiasts and industry professionals who are interested in wines from up-and-coming regions and renowned winemakers. In keeping with Wine & Spirits Magazine's mission to raise awareness of water conservation issues, proceeds from the event will benefit San Francisco Baykeeper.
The Top 100 Wineries of the Year will be featured in the Annual Buying Guide (Winter Issue) of Wine & Spirits that hits newsstands Tuesday, October 14th, 2014.
“A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petite Sirah (I don’t think I’ve ever before seen this blend in Napa Valley), this blockbuster boasts an opaque purple color, layers and layers of blackberries, cassis, incense and camphor-infused fruit, a full-bodied, powerful, muscular mouthfeel and a long finish with its aging in 75% new French oak well-disguised by the wine’s extravagant richness and power.… It is a connoisseur’s choice for sure.” -Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate October 2013
“Sed Contra Audentior Ito” – Always Push Harder – was the latter part of the family motto of Stags’ Leap Winery founder Horace Chase. Audentia Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is our tribute to this sentiment, crafted from an inimitable blend of estate vines that each year push to yield their most concentrated, yet nuanced and elegant fruit.
Situated just west of the Ne Cede Malis vineyard, Block 9 shares similar rocky soils to its neighboring block, yet produces fruit with traits unlike any other Petite Sirah. This vineyard naturally produces half the yields of a typical block and the resulting fruit is incredibly concentrated with almost double the color and tannins than that of Cabernet Sauvignon. Unique to the Stags’ Leap Estate, this Petite Sirah maintains the wonderful black fruit flavors and power that are beloved of the varietal without the dominant spice and floral notes. This allows the Petite Sirah to be a wonderful counterpart to Cabernet Sauvignon, extracting power, richness and elegance from each varietal.
Blending this exceptional Petite Sirah with hand selected lots of the Estate’s best Cabernet, Audentia pushes Cabernet Sauvignon to a new level of power and concentration while still maintaining the winery’s signature touch of elegance. It reinforces what the varietal can achieve while beautifully reflecting on the land and history of our storied Estate.
The 2010 growing season was long and mild with ideal temperatures for perfect ripening and full development of great aromatic freshness and rich, soft tannins. Rainfall returned to Napa Valley after three dry years, lengthening each stage of growth -- bud break, flowering and fruit-set -- by nearly two weeks. The relatively cool growing season coupled with the unexpected heat spikes in late summer made for a shortened harvest, but the resulting lower yield of lots were concentrated, elegant and structured. The Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2010 Audentia was harvested from October 2nd to October 15th, while the Petite Sirah was harvested on October 4th.
Crafted in extremely limited quantities from each vintage’s highest achieving blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of our finest Petite Sirah, this wine is the ultimate expression of our estate’s distinctive terroir. The Cabernet lots for Audentia were hand selected from a singular expanse of our estate vineyards that features thin, rocky soils in its upper reaches, giving way to finer-grained loamy soils at its floor. The Petite Sirah was sourced exclusively from Block 9, which produces Petite Sirah with exceptional red and black fruit characteristics that we liken to Cabernet grapes.
To create a Cabernet Sauvignon that highlights the unique terroir of the Stags’ Leap’s estate vineyards, Winemaker Christophe Paubert kept each vineyard lot separate from initial picking until final blending. The wines were aged separately, Cabernet Sauvignon in French oak (60% new) for 20 months and Petite Sirah in neutral oak for 20 months. The final assemblage is a barrel selection of the most expressive lots that was blended just prior to bottling.
Source: Estate, Stags Leap District
Varietal Composition: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petite Sirah
Vinification: Cabernet Sauvingon 100% French oak (60% new) for 20 months; Petite Sirah 100% neutral oak for 20 months
Analysis: Alc. 14.1%
Release Date: Spring 2014