2012 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23

2012 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23

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A past Wine Access story about 2012 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23

2012 Stag’s Leap Cask 23. Parker: “A profound (97-100pt) example of this profound wine.”


Since the Judgment of Paris tasting of 1976, when Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon outpointed Bordeaux’ First Growths, Warren Winiarski’s brainchild winery has won over collectors worldwide. But despite all the critical fanfare, and even as demand far outstripped supply, Stag’s Leap failed to join Robert Parker’s esteemed 100-point club.

But, with the release of Stag’s Leap’s colossal 2012 “Cask 23,” even Robert Parker could no longer hold back.

In a review in which The Wine Advocate claimed the newly released 2012 “appears to be the finest Cask 23 since the glory years of the mid-eighties,” Parker described “dense purple color … blackcurrant jam … a profound example of this iconic wine.” 97-100 points. Anticipated Maturity: “Now-2038.”

Opaque purple. Extravagant aromatically, featuring a plush mix of blackberry, cassis, mountain blueberry, and sweet spice. Rich, weighty, and dense on the attack, packed with crushed-black-fruit preserves, splashed with crème de cassis. At once powerfully structured, polished, and sleek — the hallmarks of “Cask 23” — finishing with the sturdy tannin backbone that argues eloquently for 2-3 decades of cellar slumber.

The Wine Advocate: 97-100 points. $240/bottle.

96 Points Wine Advocate

Customer Ratings

Based on 13 ratings

Waiting to savor. High expectations

About Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Producer Facts

Winery Name

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Web Site


Napa Valley 2012

Near-perfect conditions on the heels of two challenging years had Napa winemakers smiling as the 2012 harvest came to a close. To begin the season, spring bud break went off in perfect conditions, as did flowering and fruit set, setting the stage for a solid crop in terms of quantity. The summer continued with textbook conditions — warm days and cool nights allowing ripening with good flavors, sugars, and acid. Wines are rich, forward, and concentrated with plush, deep, dark fruit.

The ongoing drought played a role, with careful attention to irrigation causing some preliminary worries. Grapes did show some evidence of the stress with smaller, concentrated berries and higher polyphenols in the skins, but in the end these were more a contributing factor to the concentration and excellent quality of the fruit than a reason for concern.

Harvest started with a moderate September followed by a warm spell (with several days over 100°F) at the start of October, four days of rains to close out the month, and overall excellent conditions.

The results from these terrific conditions is a good-sized crop of very high-quality wines that are well-structured and concentrated with deep colors for the reds, slightly higher alcohols from the long ripening, but also in most cases with enough freshness and acidity to balance. Overall, they are wines with enough seductive fruit to be approachable young, but the best should age and develop for a decade and more.

Key Dates

Early bud break

Harvest starts for sparkling wine

Harvest starts for still wine

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