2007 Levendi Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley
 
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4.25 out of 5 stars!
Member Reviews:

***** Oh My!
I had intended to let this rest until after 2012, but I just had to try one. It's deep purple-black. Immediately after opening, the nose has black cherries, blackberries, spices and vanilla. The palate is just full of purple and black fruits tinged with vanilla oak. The texture is perfectly velour like. Long smooth finish. Superb right now with no decanting, but it does open even more over the course of an hour or so. Just fabulous! Fully deserves five stars!
-- Ron from Rolla, MO

***** Incredible
Finally got around to trying this one. It is an all star. Big, bright fruit and a full mouthfeel. Bold blackberry and smooth oak with super long finish. It was a stunner at a recent dinner party. Will definitely buy more.
-- Jason from Richmond, VA

***** Picky about wine
This is a surprising good little wine. Not more than it is intended to be and a delight to drink. More less expensive wines should meet this mark, be just what you are - enjoyable. I would buy more.
-- Phil from Washington, DC


Burned by The Rules of Redux

There was no question about the terms on the follow up offer. Redux had been nailed down well in advance. But as to the quantity, that had been left undefined, setting the table for the harshest of Redux lessons.

We'd been waiting almost two years to get our hands on what brilliant veteran winemaker, Alison Doran, called 'the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon she's ever made off Stagecoach Vineyard." The first time we tasted this extravagant Atlas Peak powerhouse out of barrel was back in 2009, on the eve of the 2005 missive. The 2007 was everything we'd imagined in what many have called "Napa's perfect vintage." Phenomenally opulent, with massive blackberry/blueberry concentration, drizzled with crème-de-cassis, despite all the youthful bombast, Doran refused to take an ounce of credit for this elixir-like blockbuster.

"In 2005, I pulled a rabbit out of my hat," Alison told us, pipette in hand. "In 2006, I was obliged to practice patience. But in 2007, there was literally nothing to do. Just sit back, kick your feet up and let Nature take care of the rest. A second year student at UC Davis would have made great Cabernet Sauvignon off Stagecoach in 2007."

It would take nearly three years to finally come to terms with Levendi on Doran's masterwork. On May 21, WineAccess offered the '07 "Stagecoach" at (far and away) the lowest price in America -- just $33.99, less than half the tasting room price. Members went on a quick feeding frenzy.

Twenty-four hundred bottles disappeared that Monday morning. Many were disappointed. Many were none too gentle about telling us so. Members Services was scrambling, but at least Whitney and Kate had a comeback. No worries, they told those too slow on the draw. Give us four or five months. Redux is all lined up -- and as always, the economics will be the same. Then, it was our turn to sit back and watch the WineAccess scoreboard light up like a one arm bandit.

By the time the dust settled, only John Bugay's phenomenal "The Empress" challenged the 2007 Levendi "Stagecoach" for top scoring, under-$35 Cabernet honors. Of the 262 buyers, 66 rated this one 4.25 stars out of five. Even more than the aggregate rating was the consensus. 30 came at four stars. 29 at a perfect five. Only 7 of 66 buyers would come in under four stars!

We waited through the summer, just to make sure that most buyers had not only received their 2007 "Stagecoach," but had a chance to taste it. We lobbed a call into the winery in mid-September, confirming the Redux commitment. But last week, when the winery came back, while confirming the offer and the economics, the quantity was left up in the air. Grrrr. We'd seen this movie before.

Alison Doran's 2007 Levendi Cabernet Sauvignon, drawn off a precious perch on the Krupp Family's Atlas Peak stronghold is purple/black to the edge. Explosive aromatics, with gobs of blackberry and blueberry density, splashed with crème-de-cassis. The attack is massive and velour-like, a huge mouthful of black fruit opulence, silken in texture, so rich and lush that the underlying mountain tannins barely get any screen time.

How much did we expect? A second 200 case salvo had been discussed. But, as we'd soon learn, our first deal had been too good, robbing us of what we believed was ours. Around the country and at the Levendi tasting room, the 2007 "Stagecoach" goes for $70/bottle -- and now, with so few top shelf 2007s left on the market, seems to be selling fluidly. Did we consider raising the price so as to pry a bit more out of winery? Sure. For about 20 seconds. But, then we caught ourselves and bit our lips -- burned by the Rules of Redux.


Tasting Notes

2007 Levendi Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley
"Purple/black to the edge. Explosive aromatics, with gobs of blackberry and blueberry opulence, a dash of crème-de-cassis, a touch of new wood cedar. The attack here is mountain massive, yet cloaked in velour, a huge mouthful of crushed black fruit preserves, silken in texture, so rich and lush that the underlying Atlas Peak tannins barely peek through. Drink now for its still primary fruit Hedonism or age for a decade in a cool cellar."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

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