2017 Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1414943 95 points James Suckling

 Beautiful aromas of lilacs and pear blossom. Hints of lemon rind. Full-bodied, vivid and bright with superb depth and length. It finishes with a bang. Great wine. Drink now. Why wait?  (5/2019)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The inviting bouquet expresses aromas of delicate orange blossom, citrus fruits, fresh white peach and subtle hints of sandalwood and cedar (a nod to the well-integrated French Oak) which fill the glass and pique your interest in this crisp Chardonnay. On the palate, you’ll find a refreshingly vibrant Chardonnay with layers of lemon citrus, passion fruit, guava and gooseberry, while also maintaining an elegant roundness in texture that is balanced (hinting at the delicate battonage lees stirring that occurs during the winemaking process). With well-integrated vanilla and caramel oak notes and a flinty minerality on the finish, this wine is full, rich and bright, yet generous in style and maintains freshness due to its acidity, which creates a Chardonnay of lovely complexity and depth."

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Price: $19.95

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Product Reviews:

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By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2019 | Send Email
Chardonnay produces some of the greatest wines of the world, yet it's often ridiculed by drinkers and professionals alike. What is difficult to find these days in Chardonnay is a well-balanced approach which incorporates a touch of oak while maintaining freshness and character. That is exactly what we have here. This classic Chardonnay from one of Napa's great producers, is stunning, and incidentally a great price right now!

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2019 | Send Email
This wine manages to strike that perfect balance that we all search for in California Chardonnay that has been made well. It has just a touch of oak, though doesn't taste toasted or vanillin. The oak highlights the white flower and citrus qualities in the wines and helps polish the body into something soft, yet lively and refreshing. I didn't expect this price point on a Chardonnay from a winery that has been in the Napa Valley for so long, let alone a wine of this caliber under $20. Stags' Leap has been working these vineyards for decades and they certainly know how coax with this precious crop into something delicious.
Top Value!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2019 | Send Email
95 point Napa Valley Chard for under $20 is pretty much unheard of...yet here we are! A great bottling from longtime Napa stalwart, Stags Leap Winery. What a great example of: if it ain't broken, don't fix it...this label remains almost entirely unchanged since 1893! But this historic property isn't resting on it's laurels, they continue to put out great wines at fantastic values as evidenced here. A well proportioned, balanced style of Chardonnay. Stone fruit charters with some baked orchard fruit too. Subtle oak, mid-weight on the palate with a soft texture but vibrant acidity. Very nicely made wine that isn't trying anything too radical...just executing a classic style and doing it very well. This is the perfect all-rounder, there's enough weight, texture and oak to please those that like a richer style, but it's not at all overdone and has plenty of freshness and drive too. Very well done...this is sure to be a huge seller this summer.
Top Value!

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/28/2019 | Send Email
This is a gentle Chardonnay coming from Carneros fruit. The nose displays soft yellow fruits, nectarine, and very light citrus. The palate demurs with notes of spring wild flowers, white peach, vanilla cream, with just a touch of acid. Oh, and James Suckling gave it 95 points and it costs less than $20. The meek shall inherit the earth, indeed.

Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2