The SOMM Journal

December 2017 / January 2018

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100 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017/2018 { industry tasting } MY FIRST FORAY into the Stags Leap District was on a hot and dusty summer day in 1976 (prior to the region's formal designation in 1989), which I spent tool- ing down the Silverado Trail in my trusty 1962 Ford Falcon wagon. Oblivious to the events of the infamous Judgement of Paris blind tasting just weeks earlier, I went from winery to winery to taste the wines, often with the winemaker pouring. I still remem - ber those wines. Some of the older vintages we tasted this September in Dallas, Texas, at a Stags Leap District library blind tasting recalled those earlier styles of wine, which were powerful and richly perfumed. The 1992 Clos du Val Cabernet is one example; its vines, under attack from the phylloxera epidemic of the late 1980s and early 1990s, would see a massive replanting the following year. To taste the '92—made by a young Bernard Portet, whose family has ties to Bordeaux and Château Lafite—was to taste a ghost of a historic epoch sourced from vines that no longer exist. The blind tasting was part of a Stags Leap District national roadshow that stopped in Dallas over two days. September 26 was devoted to consumer tastings, while September 27 included the invitation-only library tasting as well as an event titled "House of Cab." The latter showcased 13 wineries' 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon releases, along with an array of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, red Bordeaux Blends, and old-growth Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. The obvious intent was to demonstrate the Stags Leap District's enduring knack for making world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. "We don't only want to look back at 1976's NAPA VALLEY'S STAGS LEAP DISTRICT NATIONAL ROADSHOW COMES TO DALLAS by Alfonso Cevola photos by Mark Nelson A Leap INTO THE FUTURE The September "House of Cab" tasting in Dallas featured 13 wineries from the Stags Leap District.

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