Wine Dine and Play: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2010 Cask 23

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2010 Cask 23

The Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and CASK 23 in Napa , California

Still Worthy For The “Judgment of Paris”
Napa, California, USA
Wine Style: Cabernet, New World
Average Price: $$$
Overall Rating: 97 points
Article Written: August 2013
Article Updated: March 2019
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Stags’ Leap Zomato rating:

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

    Château or Vineyard Owner:
    Warren Winiarski
    Warren Winiarski is the owner of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

    Christophe Paubert
    Christophe Paubert is the winemaker for Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, California

    I first heard about Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars in 2003, while working at a restaurant outside of Atlanta. They had brought in their Artemis Cabernet for a tasting, and it was quickly added to the wine list. As time went by I would order a bottle occasionally and enjoy this immensely robust wine. In 2011, I came across a 2008 movie based on wine country called Bottle Shocked. It was a low budget film not produced by the major companies, yet won several awards at the independent film festivals. It starred Chris Pine and Alan Rickman. I had just watched the new release or reboot of the Star Trek franchise movie that had Chris Pine and grew an appreciation for his acting, so I thought this would be a good start for the movie. Alan Rickman, who most of the time played a villain in films like the Harry Potter Series, Robin Hood, and Die Hard, made for a wonderful casting as well. 

    The entrance to the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, California

    Though heavily embellished, it had some true facts and was a good story. The one thing I did not like about it was that the story only focused on one winery that won the best white wine category at the Judgment of Paris in 1976, which changed California wine forever. As the credits to the film came up, it mentioned that Stags’ Leap had won the red wine category. This piqued my interest once again at Stags’ Leap and the Judgment of Paris in general. The French tasters chosen for the event had impeccable professional credentials. The French wines were First and other classified-growth red Bordeaux and white Burgundies. They were matched against California Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays. The tasting was blind, with the identities of the wines concealed and the labels revealed only after the jury of nine tasters had voted its order of preference. The 1973 Stags’ Leap Wine S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon was judged the best.

    I knew that when I visited Napa and Sonoma in the summer of 2013, Stags’ Leap wine Cellars would have to be at the top of my list of wineries to visit. Little did I discover once tasting their Cask 23, Fay, and S.L.V., that I knew that Artemis was their basic wine, and these three main reserve wines still made Stags’ Leap worthy for the Judgment of Paris.

    The 1976 Paris tasting, or Judgment of Paris as it became known, had a revolutionary effect, “like a vinous shot heard round the world.”
    – Barbara Ensrud, Wall Street Journal

    The Wines of the 1976 Tasting

    Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars 1973, Napa Valley
    Château Mouton-Rothschild 1970
    Château Haut-Brion 1970
    Château Montrose 1970
    Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon ’Mountain Range’ (Montebello) 1971, Santa Cruz Mts.
    Château Leoville-Las-Cases 1971
    Mayacamas 1971, Napa Valley/Mayacamas Mts.
    Clos Du Val 1972, Napa Valley
    Heitz Cellars ’Martha’s Vineyard’ 1970, Napa Valley/St. Helena
    Freemark Abbey 1969, Napa Valley/Rutherford

    Chateau Montelena 1973, Napa Valley/Calistoga
    Meursault-Charmes 1973, Roulot
    Chalone Vineyards 1974, Monterey County/Soledad
    Spring Mountain 1973, Napa Valley/Spring Mountain
    Beaune Clos des Mouches 1973, Joseph Drouhin
    Freemark Abbey 1972, Napa Valley/Rutherford
    Batard-Montrachet 1973, Ramonet-Prudhon
    Puligny-Montrachet 1972, Les Pucelles, Domaine Leflaive
    Veedercrest 1972, Napa Valley/Mt. Veeder
    David Bruce 1973, Santa Cruz Mts.

    After arriving in Napa for my three-day wine adventure, I was following the trail of wineries and people from the Bottle Shock movie, starting with Gustavo Winery, based on the character Gustavo Brambila, played by Freddie Rodriguez in the movie. At the time, Gustavo was a field hand working at Château Montelena and after the Judgment went on to work at another winery, and then create his own label. After that visit, Stags’ Leap was next on the list. I arrived at the tasting room where they had several interns and regular employees with mass knowledge in the field of viticulture. They could explain the process of winemaking in nonprofessional’s terms to people with little knowledge, but then turn around and keep up a conversation and provide information to people that knew a lot about wine. 

    A tasting of the Fay, S.L.V., and CASK 23 at the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, California

    They brought out soil samples and talked about the Artemis wine, along with their Chardonnay and a few others. They mentioned the Judgment of Paris, but only in passing as a means of giving credibility to the vineyard for producing top quality wines. The employee asked a few questions to the group and based on that she knew where to take the wine tasting, and how much we could or could not understand. I can say that is was a nice touch. When we had visited Château Montelena, the winners in the white wine category in the Judgment, the service was horrible, and the wines were not that good. We started with their table and basic wines, but as the introduction continued, she gave us a tasting of the Fay brand, which is a step up from the Artemis. She then asked a question, and with my answer made her switch gears. 

    When she placed a map of the vineyard in front of us and asked about why certain wines in the vineyard were more expensive than others and asked us if we knew why. A person in the group gave a detailed answer, better then the one I tried to give, then she walked over to the main bar, and spoke with a supervisor. Upon returning she gave us a tasting of the S.L.V., which was part of the signature tasting, not the basic flight, then surprised me, by giving me a taste of the Cask 23. Artemis was good, Fay was better, and S.L.V., was very refreshing, but to me did not taste much different from the Fay. The Cask 23, however, was superb. She explained that this was a special blending of their best of the best, and was similar to what Steven Spurrier had tasted in 1976, and taken back to France with him, which ended up winning in the red category. So if you are going to order wines from Stags’ Leap, then go for the CASK 23. This concluded my visit to the vineyard.

    The CASK 23 is the best selling and highest rated wine at the Stag's Leap Wine Cellar in Napa, California

    Wine and Grape:
    Nose (Bouquet):
    Palate Experience:
    Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon
    Winemaker Notes:  
    Opens with deep red and black cherry aromas along with notes of juicy strawberry, cocoa, and spice.

    Winemaker Notes:
    The wine has an elegant texture with very fine tannins and great acidity. On the palate the wine is full bodied with rich dark berry fruit with hints of cedar and white truffle that lead to a long fruit and spice driven, finish. Serve CASK 23 with Filet Mignon with blue cheese crumbles, grilled venison with a red wine reduction or black-pepper-crusted Ahi tuna steaks.
    Fay Cabernet Sauvignon
    Winemaker Notes:  
    Opens with vibrant blackberry compote, black cherry, and dark chocolate aromas that lead into the signature bright cherry note of the vineyard.

    Winemaker Notes:
    The aromas are followed by rich dark berry and plum flavors with enticing hints of French vanilla and sage. On the palate, the wine has a full entry with fine-grained tannins and a smooth texture. Enjoy this Estate-grown Cabernet with braised short ribs with grilled polenta or roast chicken with tarragon and sage.
    S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon
    Winemaker Notes:  
    Ripe black cherry and blueberry aromas with hints of cedar and spice.

    Winemaker Notes:
    A powerful entry leads to a rich and full palate of black currant and red fruit with anise and cocoa top notes. The wine’s structured tannins, concentrated fruit core. In addition, pleasing minerality point to this wine’s ability to age. Enjoy with grilled peppered tri-tip or a hearty wild mushroom risotto

    88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot
    Winemaker Notes:  
    Offers pleasing aromas of black cherries, red plums, violets, nutmeg, and sandalwood along with a hint of dried herbs.

    Winemaker Notes:
    The cherry and plum notes carry over onto the palate and combine with ripe, mixed berries. The wine has a smooth, supple entry with good mid-palate structure with fine-grained tannins that lead to a lingering berry-cherry finish.
    Winemaker Notes:  
    Aromas of honeysuckle following through to flavors of green apple and orange peel on the palate are characteristic of Stags’ Leap Chardonnay.
    Winemaker Notes:
    The mid-palate is round with a creamy mouthfeel from aging on the lees and the finish has a length that is complex yet crisp and balanced.

    Final notes, review basics, and observations:

    *** NOTE TO THE READER ***

    Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about.
    To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

    I refer to myself as an oenophile though, oenophilia is defined as “a disciplined devotion to wine, accompanying strict traditions of consumption and appreciation.” In a general sense, oenophilia also refers to the enjoyment of wine, often by a layman — which I am, and not qualified as a professional. I just enjoy drinking it, so my rating is based on enjoyment and the overall experience, not the science of an expert, and thus subjective, not objective. See the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ on how I arrived at the rating percentage below:

    Overall Star Rating For 
    Stags’ Leap:
    An Extraordinary Tasting Experience
    Robert Parker The Wine Advocate
    Cask 23 = 94-96 / 100
    Fay = 93-95 / 100
    S.L.V. = 93-95 / 100
    Wines Produced by Stags’ Leap:
    Red:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah
    White: Chardonnay, Viognier, Rosé
    Grape Blends:
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, & Cabernet Franc
    Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon or Muscadelle du Bordelais
    Barrel Types and Aging:
    Aged 21 months in 90% New French oak, Fermentation: 100% stainless steel tank

    Wine regulatory’s for the tastings in this article:

    “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is the strength, in the water there are bacteria.” - David Auerbach

    United States: 

    Other City of Napa, California wines, wineries (Château’s), or food articles on Wine Dine and Play:
    Blackbird Vineyards Wine Tasting An ultra-premium terroir in Napa, California
    Gustavo Winery Artisan winemaker whose story is tied to “The Judgement of Paris” in Napa, California
    Red Mare Wine Tasting Handcrafted and micro sourced appellations in Napa, California

    See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

    A Few New World Favorites:
    New World wines are those wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe and the Middle East, in particular from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, United States (California, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State + others), and Uruguay.

    Archery Summit Winery Côte d’Or in the Willamette in Dayton, Willamette Valley, Oregon 
    Castello di Amorosa Tuscan inspired castle with wine — friends of the Baron - Calistoga, Napa,  California
    Chateau Montelena The famed Bottle Shock “Judgement of Paris” winner in Calistoga, California
    De Trafford Winery Elevation 393 tasting in Stellenbosch, South Africa 
    Dobbes Family Estate Wines by Joe in Dundee, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Eagles Nest Exceptional Shiraz and eagle sanctuary in Constantia, South Africa
    Hoopes Winery Tasting Cult cabernet winemaker with Liparita and Hoopes labels in Oakville, California
    La Motte Pierneef and Chardonnay wines overlooking the mountains in Franschhoek, South Africa
    Napa - A Sip and Taste in Wine County A 3-day tour of wineries and fine dining restaurants in Napa County, California
    Pahlmeyer Jason Wine Tasting A proprietary Bordeaux-style red blend in St Helena, California 
    Yarra Yering Winemakers of the year by James Halliday famous battle named blocks in Gruyere, Yarra Valley

    Some Old World Favorites:
    Old World wine refers primarily to wine made in Europe but can also include other regions of the Mediterranean basin with long histories of winemaking such as North Africa and the Near East. These countries include Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey.

    Château Prieuré-Lichine Quatrieme cru tasting in Margaux AOC, Bordeaux, France
    Château Toinet Fombrauge In Saint-Christophe-de-Bardes, Bordeaux, France
    Domaine Guy and Yvan Dufouleur 1st Cru producer in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy,
    Jordan River Wines The Haddad Family Vineyards, and a 2000 year history of wine, Amman, Jordan
    Pierre LaForest Les Montespierres Tasting in a cave, Cote d'Or, Vougeot, Burgundy, France
    The Bourgogne Tasting A tasting of the Vougeot AOC, caves, and the Hospices de Beaune tour

    See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country


    Bottle Prices 
    (excluding taxes)
    $£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
    $£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
    $£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
    $£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
    $£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)
    **Currencies reflect the world’s major wine countries and connoisseur’s** 

    Currency rates in the top wine producing & wine purchasing countries:
    Price Chart :
    Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon (750 ml)

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Australian Dollar (AUS)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    Canadian Dollar (CAN)
    Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
    European Union (EUR)
    New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
    South African Rand (ZAR) 
    Fay Cabernet Sauvignon (750 ml)

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    European Union (EUR)
    S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon (750 ml)

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    European Union (EUR)
    Chardonnay (750 ml)

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    European Union (EUR)
    Artemis (750 ml)

    United States Dollar (USD)
    Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
    European Union (EUR)

    Cost of wine tasting (p/p):

    Signature Flight:      $30.00
    Premier flight: $55.00

    Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars:

    5766 Silverado Trail
    Napa, CA 94558

    Tasting Room Information:


    Tasting room:
    +01 707 944 2020

    Website contact:

    Tasting Room hours:
    Pacific Standard Time (GMT, Zulu, or UTC-8:00)
    Monday - Sunday
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Social Media 
    Accolades for Stags' Leap:

    Stags’ Leap Facebook Link                

    The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

    A few to tease you with…
    High-end steakhouse chain with aged prime cuts
    Akron, Ohio, USA
    Colorfully inspired twists on American Classics
    St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
    Upscale Pan Asian Fare w/sushi
    Orlando, Florida, USA

    “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is the strength, in the water there are bacteria.” 
    - David Auerbach

    Who is John Galt?


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