We first came across Steltzner Cab when we owned a liquor store several years ago. We drank a bottle for “homework” and found it to be a respectable envoy from the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley in an easy-to-sell $30 price range. While Stags Leap has long been well-regarded in the wine community, the district became more well-known to the general public through the movie “Bottle Shock” in which the wine competition “Judgment of Paris” was portrayed. We bought a few cases for ourselves and have been polishing them off one by one for the last four years.
Through the years the wine has gained some sediment and acquired a slight amount of brick coloring, but overall the ruby hue still has some sparkle. A sip before decanting reveals a tightness and lack of fruit. After aeration, the nose opens up to reveal aromas of black cherry, vanilla, and fresh herbs. The mid-palate incorporates currants and blackberry, along with dark chocolate. The lushness of the fruit strays a bit towards tartness, but then is saved by the aged oak tannins in a long dry finish.
We’ll have to try the 2012 vintage to see how it compares!