Garrigue on the nose with wet stone and hardwood buds. Black fruit skins dominate the palate which had a blend of textural notes from breezy silkiness midpalate to highly textural but polished tannins on the gums and cheeks. Finishes long with a touch of leather a wisp of light thin smoke, which fade to persistent dark juice. — 6 months 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. — 3 years ago
Classic Mt Veeder Cab from Chris Carpenter, winemaker at Lokoya. Currants, black fruit on the nose. Flavors of cassis, currants and mocha held together with smooth tannins. Long finish. Consider this a baby Lokoya. Really good. 2014 vintage on September 13, 2018 — 3 years ago
Gorgeous SB from Lokoya being enjoyed atop of the world at their private Guest house Villa. Enjoying every second of this evening with my gorgeous wife & incredible friends Kirk and Veronica Alexander. It was enjoyed with a Salman Tartare with Melon, citrus, avocado and homemade savory granola. Every dish this evening is being prepared by Chef Tracey Shepps Cenami and served by the most gracious Carol Jackson. We are truly blessed to be atop of the world enjoying these culinary delights with our new friends!!!! Everyone needs a friend as a chef!👏👏👏👏👏👏
The intraday showed crisp green notes and ethereal lightness. Amazing! @Kirk Alexander . — 3 years ago
This one I felt was missing something. I expect something with this label to dominate and compared to what else was there tonight, it was just rather timid. Still had some rather nice black fruits on the nose and on the palate, but thankfully this one wasn't mine. A little flat in the middle. Nice blackberry nose and palate. The finish is a little on the stiff side. I just think this one needs another 2-3 years in the bottle for it to wake back up again. I think it was in a funky place. Very enjoyable and I would definitely not snub this one if it was the only one on the table (quite the opposite, actually). This one tasted with a 2012 Pott Franc, a 2014 Bevan Ontogeny, a 1997 Lokoya Diamond Mtn, and a Barnett 2010 Rattlesnake Hill Cab. Nice wine.....I just think it would be better on another day. — 4 years ago
Simply spectacular — 8 months ago
The nose reveals; dark, sweet, tarry, currants, ripe, ruby, candied, blackberries, dark cherries, ripe black plum with soft skin, purple fruit blend, blueberries, creamy dark raspberries, mixed berry cola, anise to black licorice, notes of ripe port, sandstone/limestone, dark spices, steeped teas, dry & fresh herbaceousness, crushed, dry rocks, black tar, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, soft leather, saddle-wood, leather, dry & fresh tobacco, bay leaf with fresh & withering, very dark florals.
The body is; full, round, velvety and drop dead, gorgeously sexy. Their 97 shows the excellence of the vintage. The structure, tension, length and balance are in peak form. However, this wine has another 10 years ahead. The soft, round, silky tannins melt in your mouth. Dark, sweet, tarry, currants, ripe, ruby, candied, blackberries, dark cherries, ripe black plum with soft skin, purple fruit blend, blueberries, creamy dark raspberries, mixed berry cola, anise to black licorice, sandstone/limestone, dark spices, steeped teas, dry & fresh herbaceousness, crushed, dry rocks, rich, black, turned earth, black tar, dark chocolate, coco powder, caramel, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, soft leather, saddle-wood, leather, big graphite, some, subtle, grilled meats, dry & fresh tobacco, touch of black pepper, bay leaf with fresh & withering, very dark florals. The acidity is round and beautifully phat. The long, ruby, ripe, rich, well knitted texture & balance are outstanding and persists endlessly. Beautiful vintage and wine tonight!
Photos of; Cardinale tasting room, our Lokoya & Cardinale hybrid tasting as the road to Lokoya was not open after the big rains a couple of winters back and their terrace view from the tasting room. — 2 years ago
Bootleg is the newest Napa label under the Jackson Family umbrella, which also includes Cardinale, Freemark Abbey, Galerie, La Jota, Lokoya, and Mt. Brave. The label pays homage to “the winegrowing rogues, who smuggled vine cuttings from renowned French vineyards and replanted them in California.” Kristy Melton, formerly director of winemaking at Clos du Val, crafts the wines and this blend of 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petite Sirah, 21% Zinfandel, 12% Merlot, 3% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. The fruit is sourced from vineyards on Atlas Peak, Oakville, Mt. Veeder, Rutherford and Spring Mountain. Parker called it “off-the-charts in terms of its hedonistic appeal” and I can’t disagree. Blackberry, kirsch and cassis combine to yield an ultra rich fruit bomb, but it doesn’t stop there, adding Rutherford dust, cocoa powder, licorice, purple flowers, cedar, and crushed rock. I’ve heard several comparisons of this to the wines of Orin Swift, and while both are fruit bomb, high octane wines, I’m more inclined to compare this to something like Andy Erickson’s Leviathan. — 4 years ago