Elegant & Rich Merlot. Stags’ Leap Winemaker Dishes. VIDEO

After tasting through eight or nine superb wines at Stags’ Leap with winemaker & GM Christophe Paubert, I had to understand more about his philosophy and his background to understand what he is creating in Napa Valley.

If you can make a very good Cab why can you not make a very good Merlot?

Elegant & Rich Merlot. Stags' Leap Winemaker Dishes. VIDEO

Merlot has gotten a bad rap from Hollywood. The reality is when the grapes are harvested at precisely the right moment the wine it results in is robust, elegant and pairs perfectly with food.  Take it from Christophe Paubert, the French winemaker & GM of Stags’ Leap. With 85 acres of prime Stags Leap District grapes at his disposal, he relies on the region’s exceptional heating and cooling abilities to get him the right kind of grape results.

{VIDEO} Insights into Winemaking with Christophe Paubert

Paubert’s background includes winemaking in Bordeaux, Chile, Spain and Wallawalla, Washington. When he was in Wallawalla, he was making splendid Merlot.  He overheard people talking about Washington having much better Merlot, but not so much in Napa.

Elegant & Rich Merlot. Stags' Leap Winemaker Dishes. VIDEO
Christophe Paubert Winemaker

“If you can make a good Cab, why can you not make a very good Merlot?”  When he transferred to Stags’ Leap, they were already making a decent Merlot. But he understood the problem.  He realized people knew Merlot to be soft but translated that to weak Merlot. His second thought was that Merlot does not like heat. Merlot is not meant to be grown in Calistoga.  80% of his Merlot grapes come from south of Yountville. The heat can be 10-20 degrees cooler there in the summer.

Some of the most expensive wine in the world is Merlot.

The wine is big and bold.  Paubert tries to make the best Merlot he can and showcase the fruit in a traditional way. Science is a big part of this.

“For me, science is to understand tradition,” Paubert says, “we taste everything every day. We are very hands on. The inspiration for what I want to do is The Estate.

2013 Stags' Leap Winery Block 20 Merlot Napa Valley

Stags’ Leap Winery has a storied history.  Founded in the late 1800’s by Horace Chase & Mary Mizzner. They originally designed the Manor House, an architecturally stunning home which houses the sublime tasting room off the Silverado Trail.

Founders of Stags' Leap Winery, Horace Chase and Mary Minzer
Horace Chase and Mary Minzer on their wedding day.

Built in 1891, the stately property retains it’s elegance and has been transformed into an elegant tasting room complete with a huge outdoor covered porch.  You can almost imagine what it was like to live here off the Silverado Trail, just below Atlas Peak. It was an era when royalty visited and Hollywood beckoned.   The first vintage was released in 1893. Like many other wineries during prohibition, Stags’ Leap stopped wine production in 1908.  It later became a resort popular in the 1920’s with San Franciscans. Winemaking resumed once again in 1972 and they have been mastering the craft for decades.

If romance and extraordinary beauty are important to you, Stags’ Leap Winery is a destination you won’t want to miss. The history, incredible views and elegant wines will create everlasting memories.

You can visit Stags Leap Winery and taste by appointment.

Elegant & Rich Merlot. Stags' Leap Winemaker Dishes. VIDEO
This is the serenity of Stags' Leap Winery

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Kelly Mitchell on Instagram

All I want to do... is have some fun @tressabores #NapaValley check them out. Absolutely outstanding down to earth vibe and wine that`s better for you and planet earth. Sustainable, organic & truly killer wine! #certifiedsustainable #certifiedorganic ...

Current vibe on @threadsapp ...

I know no joy as great as a moment of rushing into a new love, no ecstasy like that of a new love.
~ Anais Nin

The words say it all. Magnificent drink. If you can get it. @turleywine 2015 Napa Valley Library Block Petite Syrah
Dark, brooding with a side of magnificent freshness.

And now back to Paris for a formidably fabulous Friday! Michelin-star restaurant- check! Fabulous dark and exquisite library for enjoying cocktails, a breathtaking entrance of a French hideaway from years ago...

Stunning Michelin star restaurant and beautiful bibliothèque with Parisian friends.

Bookmark this spot! I don’t often share where I dine unless I am out of the country, but because so many people ask 💋🍷💋#TheWineSiren I am going to change that. Take my favorite brunch and Fried Chicken spot! @southsidenapa offers not only some of the freshest most inviting dishes in Napa, they also have a wide array of coffee, tea, wine and bubbles to pair your dishes with.

Its one of the few #petfriendly places with great food and an inviting team. Lots of talent here in the food arena and the outdoor seating area is equipped with swinging chairs, a fire pit and comfortable seating inside and out.

Fried Chicken you ask? Yes! Pairs perfectly with your Napa Valley Sparkling and #Champagne.The best in Napa Valley. Make sure and call ahead, they often sell out.

Hours are 8am-2pm
Breakfast served all day and an expanded lunch menu.

With over 30 years of sustainability under their belt, Domaine Carneros has a big headstart in the way of sustainability. They built the first significant solar installation, recognized as the largest in the world at the time. Far beyond complacent, Domaine Carneros continues to push the limits and try new techniques and strategies to improve their abilities.

Domaine Carneros

An incredible indulgence and the ultimate experience.

It’s in my neighborhood. Two miles away door to door. Why do I find myself returning again and again? Because this is one of the most stunning destinations in Carneros and Napa Valley. Stunning in both taste and views.

The skies, the ultimate blue, the vineyard hills throughout the landscape. It’s a breathtaking pinch yourself situation no matter how often you visit.

The team is so welcoming and the sparkling wine is world class and made sustainably. If you’re ready to step up your sparkling wine game this is where you need to be.

The wines tasted:

2016 Estate Brut Cuvée (late disgorge) ripe pear, white flowers, creamy, beautiful structure.
2019 Brut Rosé Pinot Noir & Chardonnay, incredible well poised, citrus, red berries, almonds and floral notes
2015 Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs Tête de Cuvée The dream. A signature must taste from the most prized blocks of Chardonnay. Evocative of citrus curd, pie crust, a nuance of ginger and tart lemon. I could drink this all day every day!
2017 Ultra Brut Tropical fruit, lime, lemon zest, crisp, lovely palate and exquisite finish.

The ultimate indulgence, featuring three of Tsar Nicoulai’s finest caviars:
Classic, Select, and Golden Reserve
Served with potato chips, toast points, and Cowgirl Creamery crème fraîche.

Make your reservation today!

Domainecarneros.com and ask for the caviar experience!

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Elegant & Rich Merlot. Stags' Leap Winemaker Dishes. VIDEO

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