Honestly? starting to brick a bit–which I find somewhat troubling for a wine this young. It’s definitely a little garnet headed ruddy into the edges. Minty goodness pinning all of the Napa Valley gods in place on the initial nose… a little yeasty bread, Comstock cherry filling, coffee grounds and Christmas trees over a core neither flabby or voluptuous, neither green or stuffed. There’s a funky pond-water element to it too, and not the pond-water hi-alc I sometimes equate together, this is different: It’s based on fruit.
There’s not a whole lot going on in this wine. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. We’re so accustomed to these corporate valley monsters being just that. And this one isn’t. It’s flat-out gorgeous, but in such a coy way, smart and beautiful and composed and not boisterous–all the edginess kept inside for later.
In the mouth, I honestly think this wine is drinking at peak, which boggles the mind in terms of both 2011 and a stalwart brand of OG goodness. Maybe this is an off bottle… I have more but jesus christ I don’t want to blow them. I know I’m being really hard on this wine and that is not fair. It is quite beautiful, just restrained and so claret-ish: light and easy-going, I suppose one could say the balance has reduced it to perfection? The finish though. That is what keeps driving me back. The initial nose and the finish. The initial nose is a crazy minty zesty mineralific soil and brimstone stunner and the finish is this crazy licorice cassis vanilla perfectly candied fruit dark and intense and if there are tannins, they are perfectly integrated into the alcohol and grainy fruit.
This is an interesting wine. I expected a massive extruded big-house offering *POSSIBLY* toned down a bit with lean-ness, acid and tannin by the vintage alone. But it is a smart, lean low-alcohol girl-next-door that you quite come to love, all things considered. Where is this wine going? One HAS to have this conversation when considering the OG stuff. I would watch it quite carefully. You don’t want to end up with a case of this stuff in 10 years and it be blown.
2011 STAG’S LEAP WINE CELLARS Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Artemis’ Napa Valley 13.5