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Cliff Lede "Poetry" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Napa Valley, California) - [RP 96] [ST 93] [WS 91]
Cliff Lede "Poetry" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Napa Valley, California) - Robert Parker [96 pts] - Stephen Tanzer [93 pts] - Wine Spectator [91 pts]


Retail Price: $150.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $129.99
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Winery: Cliff Lede
Varietal: 86% Cab Sauv, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot, 2% Malbe
Region: Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
Vintage: 2007
Bottle Size: 750 ml

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Notes from the Winemaker:

Sourced from the steep hillside terraces of our own Poetry Vineyard, this wine delivers all of the elegance and concentration for which the Stags Leap District is famous.


The lack of winter rainfall resulted in low soil moisture at the start of the vintage. With a gradual transition into spring and the earliest irrigation on record, 2007 opened with cool weather and early growth. A mild April turned to a hot May and June, with grapevines blazing through bloom and the first phase of development. Late summer heat punctuated the start of harvest. The 2007 vintage is most noted for its dry start and small berry size with pronounced flavors of unusual depth and complexity.


The Poetry Vineyard is the eastern most of our two estate Stags Leap District vineyards, located just a stone’s throw from the winery and the Twin Peaks Estate Vineyard. The property sits on a steep west-facing, high-exposure hillside below the luxurious Poetry Inn. Reaching from the highest elevation of the Stags Leap District Appellation down almost to the valley floor, this vineyard’s soul is a gritty combination of shallow soils atop fractured shales and low-yielding old vines of Cabernet Sauvignon.


Grapes were picked in the darkness of the very early morning hours, and immediately subjected to rigorous selection by our three-tiered sorting process. The berries were gently delivered to tank by our unique crane system, minimizing disruption of berry integrity. Cold soaks lasted approximately five to eight days and fermentations were managed via a combination of delestage and pumpovers. Extended maceration of two and a half to five weeks fine-tuned our tannin profiles, and allowed us to perfect mouth feel and wine complexity. The components that make up this wine underwent eighteen months of elevage in eighty-five percent new French oak and fifteen percent neutral French oak.


Composition: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 15.1%
Bottling Date: June 2009
Release Date: October 2010
Production: 975 cases

What Does It Taste Like?

The 2007 Poetry possesses a nose redolent of blueberry strudel, nutmeg, caraway, cola and graphite. It opens with peony, crème de cassis, and violets. A truly remarkable mouth, with rich layers reminiscent of blueberry coulis, dense bramble, black cherry, and sweet opulent violet liqueur. With a unique balance of sweet fatness and elegant softness, wrapped in a cloak of unctuous silkiness, the mouth turns floral and complements its finesse and structure with soft-rounded tannins and an elegant finish that lingers.

Ratings & Reviews

96 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"The quintessential expression of an elegant Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry (86% Cabernet Sauvignon) combines elegance with power. Layered and full-bodied with an ethereal lightness as well as touches of oak and tannin, it is gorgeously pure and textured yet strikingly long and intense. Bursting with flavor, but neither heavy nor cloying, give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and enjoy it over the next 25+ years.

As the results attest, owner Cliff Lede, manager David Abreu, and up and coming winemaker Michelle Edwards are all obsessed with high quality. The ubiquitous Michel Rolland is also in the background for blending, consulting, etc. The 2007s appear to be stunning efforts." - Robert Parker (12/2009)

93 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar:
"Bright, deep ruby-red. Superripe aromas of currant, earth and smoky oak, lifted by a floral nuance. Round, seamless and broad without any heaviness; this really spreads out to coat the palate and fill the mouth. A suave wine with a nicely restrained sweetness to its blackberry-dominated flavors. The very smooth finish shows lovely aromatic persistence." - Stephen Tanzer (May/June '10)

91 Points - Wine Spectator Magazine:
"Smells a bit reduced, but this is quite rich and expressive on the palate. Firm, intense and full-bodied, with layers of cedar, dried currant, mineral, tobacco and espresso, letting the flavors build on the finish, where the tannins are chewy. Drink now through 2020. 975 cases made." –JL (11/15/2010)

94 Points -
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2006 vintage)
"Even better is the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry. A 969-case blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot, this wine has sweet tannins, a big, rich kiss of blackberry and creme de cassis interwoven with subtle smoke, graphite, and loamy soil undertones. The wine has gorgeous purity, full-bodied flavors, elegance, and finesse. Like great cuisine, it offer tremendous intensity of flavor without any sense of heaviness or weight. Drink it over the next 20+ years.

One of the new up-and-coming wineries in Stags Leap is Cliff Lede, run by the proprietor of the same name and his winemaker Michelle Edwards. (None other than superstar David Abreu is the viticulturalist, and this is another place where Michel Rolland makes his semi-annual stop for consulting purposes.) 2006 turned out to be very successful for the wines of Cliff Lede, all displaying the elegance one expects from the Stags Leap region, but with substantial flavors as well as intensity." - Robert Parker (12/2008)

93 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (2008 vintage):
"Ratcheting up the level of elegance and complexity, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry Stags Leap (composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot, Petit Verdot and a tiny bit of Malbec) is very Chateau Margaux-like with its floral notes interwoven with black currants, graphite and toast. With admirable power, finesse and freshness, it is a beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied wine with a layered richness and a long, supple finish. Consume it over the next 15-20+ years." - Robert Parker (Dec 2010)

91 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (2008 vintage):
"Good full ruby-red. Soil-driven aromas of plum, mocha and earth. Plush and broad, with good floral lift to the black raspberry fruit. Not the last word in complexity but denser and longer than the Lonely Wizard bottling. Finishes with suave tannins and earthy minerality." - Josh Raynolds (May/Jun '11)

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