It’s been a long day…couple of days actually. I’ve been lucky to get some buffalo loin and this beautiful wine from Colgin to pair. Deep dark fruits, dark chocolate and espresso. The winemaker describes the 2017 vintage as having a sense of clarity and purity, something we could all use a little more of these days. — 7 days ago
On the nose; very ruby, floral plum fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, Thompson raisins, fresh dates and prunes. Black licorice, creamy dark fruit cola, caramel, milk & dark chocolate, soft beautiful dark spice, touch of eucalyptus, fresh herbs, limestone, soft presence dry crushed rocks, a whiff of pepper, fresh lavender, violets and dark withering floral bouquet.
The body is full and lush. Fine meaty, tarry, tannins. Very ruby, floral plum fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries, Thompson raisins, fresh dates and prunes. Black licorice, creamy dark fruit cola, caramel, milk & dark chocolate, soft beautiful dark spice, touch of eucalyptus, fresh herbs, limestone, soft presence dry crushed rocks, suede leather, dry clay, dry top soil, dry underbrush, a whiff of pepper, fresh lavender, violets and dark withering floral bouquet. The acidity is very nice. There is good structure, tension, length and balance that needs 10 years plus to flush out. The finish is good, well balanced with fine powdery sticky tannins.
Photos of, Cliff Lede tasting facility, wire woven sculptures that decorate the grounds, Owner David Lede and the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard.
Producer history and notes...Cliff Lede Vineyards (pronounced LayDee) was founded in 2002 on what used to be S. Anderson Vineyard, a winery that was founded in 1971 by Stanley and Carol Anderson primarily known for their sparkling wines.
Cliff Lede is from Leduc, Alberta a small town just south of Edmonton. The reason you see a Canadian flag in front of the parking next to the US Flag. David and Cliff helped run their father’s construction company he founded in 1947, Leduc Construction. Later the company was renamed to Ledcor Construction in 1982. They ultimately built the business into one of the world’s largest construction companies. Through Cliff, the company established business in the Napa Valley focusing on wineries, restaurants, premium resorts and private residences. Some of their more notable works include; Morimoto Restaurant, Davis Estate Winery, Lokoya Winery, Marciano Estate and the Riverfront Residences in downtown Napa.
After several decades at Ledcor, Cliff decided to pursue his passion for wine. His first introduction to wine was helping his mother make wine at home. Later he began collecting wines from Bordeaux, and even considered purchasing property there. However, he fell in love with Napa after business took him to Northern California.
Cliff Lede owns 60 acres of vineyards in the Stags Leap District. This includes the Twin Peaks Vineyard surrounding the winery and tasting room. The Poetry Vineyard was acquired a year after Cliff established Cliff Lede Vineyards. It is planted on steep hillsides down to the Silverado Trail. It’s planted with red Bordeaux varietals, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils there are extremely rocky. Despite being so close to the Poetry Vineyard, the soils in the Twin Peaks Vineyard are dramatically different. They are gravelly loam.
From a viticulture aspect, this diversity of terroir is a good representation of what the Stags Leap District has to offer, ranging from its upper most reaches of 400 feet to the valley floor. Even among their two Stags Leap properties, there are micro-climates. The west facing vineyard hillsides become quite warm during the day in the summer but cool off significantly in the evenings. This diurnal temperature swing is important for growing premium grapes including maintaining acidity.
The winery also owns a 20 acre vineyard in Calistoga at the base of Diamond Mountain planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a small block of Sauvignon Blanc.
Further to the north in Mendocino County is their Savoy Vineyard, which is a 42 acre site in Anderson Valley. It is planted mainly to Pinot Noir along with Chardonnay. It provides fruit for their FEL Wines (a name that Cliff chose to pay homage to his mother, using the first three initials of her full name Florence Elsie Lede.
Cliff’s love for all things “Rock and Roll”, he named all their blocks in their Stags Leap District Vineyards after famous rock and roll songs or albums such as “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Walk on the Wildside”, “Light my Fire” and “American Girl. ”Collectively these are referred to as the “Rock Blocks.”
David Abreu quickly realized the exceptional terroir of the Poetry Vineyard as did Cliff when they initially tried some of the S. Anderson wines from this site. Abreu oversaw its replanting and clonal material sourced from a number of premiere Napa vineyards. While Abreu was the original vineyard architect, he is no longer involved in the management of the their vineyards. They are now controlled by their in-house vineyard team.
The winery, tasting room and the nearby luxury Poetry Inn all opened around 2005. Architect Howard Gillam was hired to design the winery. Cliff’s background in construction and architectural preferences certainly influenced its design. The tasting room has a more contemporary feel rather then some of his more rustic looking designs. It features beautiful views of the Napa Valley. Inspired by the shape of tanks during a visit to Château Latour in Bordeaux, Cliff commissioned Missouri based Paul Mueller Company to create special truncated tanks for fermentation to help submerse more of the cap. Each tank corresponds to a specific vineyard block. During harvest, a specially designed crane gently moves and lowers a hopper full of whole berries into each tank.
Sorting is a big part of their attention to detail before fermentation. After the grapes come into the winery, they are sorted by hand, then run through an optical sorter and then finally put through an additional final hand sorting. Nearby is a 20,000 square foot cave that connects directly to the winery. World famous Michel Rolland was brought on in the early years as a consultant. Philipe Melka also made Cliff Lede wines for several years and today Christopher Tynan is the Winemaker. He was formerly Assistant Winemaker at Colgin.
Total annual production is between 18,000 and 20,000 cases depending on what Mother Nature gives them. The majority of this is comprised of their Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and their Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon. — 4 years ago
On any other night this would shine! — 16 days ago
1 hour decant (some slightly chunky sediment). A beguiling inky ruby red color with some browning. On the nose: red plum, floral, wet forest floor, some blueberry, and a little creme brulee. Taste: red fruit with a touch of blue fruit mixed in, earthy, cedar, and a red licorice mid palate. A soft approachable wine with fine, sweet tannins coating the mouth ending in a cherry espresso medium finish.
Michael Trujillo winemaker with a lower alcohol restrained cabernet for Napa(note: vineyard used for initial Colgin wine launch). 2016 LAST VINTAGE...vineyard now leased to Thomas Rivers Brown going forward...get ready for a TRB HL vineyard wine....more oak, more ripe.....big scores. — 2 years ago
What a crazy awesome wine! It has it all, pure fruit profile, great acidity and a nice grip, with long finish. Everything is balanced well. So much energy for a 24 year old wine. Last month I had the 94 Harlan, 94 Colgin HL, and 97 Colgin HL, and this blew them all away. — 4 years ago
Solid wine, and opened in the presence of a 14 Tusk, an 05 Scarecrow, 09 Oakville Winegrowers Cuvee, 88 Dunn, 07 Colgin IX, a 93 Harlan, and an 08 Pritchard Hill Chappellet. I'd say it was probably my 3rd favorite out of those (the 88 Dunn and 09 Oakville Winegrowers being the two Napa Cabs IMO that bested this one). You know you're doing right when a 12 Kapcsandy State Lane is third! This wine has it all going on. Smooth, still slightly youthful fruit sweetness present here. Luscious black fruit on the front and middle with a peppery finish. This wine seemed to be a very approachable drinker even for only six years old. I'd put it at 96 easily but would be interested to see how it would taste if corked and enjoyed tomorrow (service announcement: .it was gone rather fast!). Toasted tannin still present. Wine has incredible structure and depth. — 4 years ago
What a vintage on Pritchard Hill! This is THE go to in this zip code (way under The neighbors are Ovid & Colgin. I can’t believe this is 7 years from vintage - it’s still very young with lots of currant and blueberry with mocha. Tannins kick in in the mid palate and a lengthy finish. With a rack of lamb - proof God loves us! — 2 years ago
Napa at its best. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (22%) and Petit Verdot (18%) from the estate on Pritchard Hill in Oakville, (not far from Colgin and Bryant Family), including fruit from the Mondavi family’s famed and controversial To Kalon vineyard. Silky, opulent, balanced. Well integrated oak. Dried fruit. Hints of vanilla, chocolate — 2 years ago
A completely different wine than the Dominus. This was full throttle and slams you back in to your seat with its G forces. So ripe, almost over the top; but it decelerates just in time and the finish is so succulent it lingers in your mouth forever. Filled to the tip of the cork with graphite and teeth staining purple fruit. This is the malevolent bastard child of a young Colgin IX Syrah and 2000 Chateau Pavie. Gobsmacker. — 4 years ago
2004 Colgin Jubilation Merlot. Drank side-by-side with ‘99 Pahlmeyer Merlot during dinner w McC at S. Affair. This was our fave of the two. ‘99 Pahlmeyer was a little thin and flat, esp at first (though it came around). This had fruit and roundness to it from the get go. Might have been stored a little incorrectly at some point, as it was a little hot in the finish. — 4 years ago