2012 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars FAY Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The FAY vineyard is where the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars story began. Established by pioneering grape grower Nathan Fay in 1961, it was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what is now the Stags Leap District. At the time, conventional wisdom maintained that the area was too cold for Cabernet Sauvignon. But tasting Nathan Fay’s homemade Cabernet in 1969 was a defining moment for the founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Here was land capable of producing a wine that could rival the best in the world. Within a year an adjoining ranch, now known as S.L.V., was purchased. And, in 1986, the winery purchased Nathan Fay’s vineyard and named it FAY in his honor.
Vineyards & Winemaking Notes: FAY vineyard remains one the great Napa Valley vineyards, producing fruit with an abundance of supple red and black berry character, voluptuous perfume and a luscious, fine-grained texture. Almost twothirds of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2012 blend comes from blocks in the lower and middle sections of the FAY vineyard, which give the wine its classic red-fruit tones and aromatic top notes. The balance was sourced from the upper section (eastern blocks) of FAY, which tends to be more powerful and lends structure to the wine. When the various lots are blended and aged in French oak barrels, the resulting wine gives us the classic expression that is a hallmark of our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, “an iron fist in a velvet glove.”
Vintage Notes: 2012 was a textbook vintage for the Napa Valley, producing exceptional fruit. A mild winter ended with enough rainfall to allow good moisture in the soil. The mild spring transitioned into a mild summer. With the exception of one heat event in early July, summer temperatures were perfect with daytime highs almost always in the upper 80s and nighttime lows in the upper 40s. In mid-July the valley began predicting a larger than average harvest. But it was a grower’s dream as fruit achieved that elegant intersection of flavor and quantity. Fruit matured with deep concentrated flavor and soft tannins. Without extreme heat or rain we found ourselves able to “cherry pick” vineyard blocks as they achieved maximum flavor. The rain held off almost until the very end of harvest and even then it was only an exclamation mark on a remarkable growing and winemaking vintage.
About The Wine: Elegant and inviting with a nose of violet, cinnamon, vanilla clove and boysenberry that brings to mind a slice of dark berry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The wine has a silky, velvety texture from the fine tannins and rich fruit core that allows the wine to flow over the midpalate and merge with the signature bright red cherry notes of the vineyard. While not bold in character, the 2012 FAY has great persistence and length, promising long life. Enjoy this estate-grown Cabernet with pork saltimbocca, braised short-ribs or roast chicken with fried sage