Cornering the Stag with “Artemis”
No one could have predicted that the publication of a Time Magazine article headlined “Judgment of Paris” would be the catalyst for one of the watershed moments in the history of the American wine industry.
Warren Winiarski, the founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, will always be remembered for his shocking triumph in 1976 over France’s prized First Growths. At the Paris tasting organized by Steven Spurrier, Winiarski’s 1973 Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon outpointed Mouton Rothschild, Haut-Brion, and Léoville Las Cases — much to the chagrin of a panel of nine French judges.
In the late fall of 2006, we published our first story on WineAccess. Had you told us then that 10 years later, our fledgling website would one day offer its membership one of the most iconic and historically significant Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons — Stag’s Leap Cask 23 — we would have questioned your sanity.
Our allocation of Robert Parker’s first 100-point Stag’s Leap Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon disappeared in a flash just hours after we hit “Send.” Impressed, Winiarski assured us he’d come back with a new allocation — something that would appeal to WineAccess members who couldn’t stomach the $240 price tag for “Cask 23.”
Warren has made good on that promise, and today, we’ve cornered the stag once more. The 2014 “Artemis” is one of the finest Napa Valley Cabernet blends from the 2014 vintage that we’ve tasted — and one that is ready to drink now.
Wine Spectator has called 2014 a “dream vintage, with quality along the lines of 2012 and 2013.” Stag’s Leap winemaker Marcus Notaro is tasked each year with hunting down the best grapes for “Artemis,” as a way of producing a signature bottling representative of Napa’s regional character with the Stag’s Leap stamp of concentration, structure, and drinkability.
In 2014, Notaro blended Cabernet Sauvignon from the acclaimed Stag's Leap Estate vineyards (Fay and S.L.V.) with the best drawn off choice parcels in St. Helena, Coombsville, and Antinori’s Antica vineyard on Atlas Peak.
The 2014 “Artemis” was aged 17 months in 33% new French Oak and 10% American Oak. Vivid deep ruby with violet hues. Beautiful, bright aromas of raspberries and black cherries, tinged with perfumed red floral notes, sweet baking spice, and mocha. Voluptuous, beautifully sleek on the palate, showing silky red- and black-berry fruit, along with graphite and sweet tobacco notes. Supple, fine-grained tannins and juicy acidity follow dusty mineral notes on a lengthy finish.
Your hunt is over: $60 direct from the winery. Courtesy of Warren Winiarski, just $48/bottle. Shipping included on 4.