Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars shot to fame in the 1970s when they won a famous blind tasting (aka the ‘Judgement of Paris’) beating the best French wines of that day. It changed the wine scene forever and kickstarted Californian exports. They are based in Stag’s Leap Wine District, halfway up Napa Valley as you travel north from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a warm climate but cooling morning fog from nearby San Pablo Bay that means it is not as hot as the Calistoga area further north in Napa Valley.
From the excellent 2018 vintage, this Artemis Cabernet (a blend of different vineyards in Napa Valley), is a treat. It is a classic Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, full of black and red fruits and a touch of vanilla and spice. Some Cabernets can be very alcoholic and rich, but this has excellent balance, smooth tannin and an elegant feel despite the full body and ripe fruit. This would be a great match with grilled meats, or to savour without food. 14.5% ABV.
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