Stags Leap Cellars Tasting With Holly Beach
Sherlocks Wine Merchant Buckhead
3401 Northside Parkway NW Atlanta 30327
Holly Beach of Ste Michelle Wine Estates was born in Tennessee and raised in San Diego, California. She has been selling and teaching about fine wine for over a decade. She is a featured speaker at wine and food festivals throughout the country, and has worked over the past decade in a variety of capacities in the wine trade, including Le Cordon Bleu and Emory University. She achieved the Certified Sommelier certification in 1999 and graduating The Society of Wine Educators in 2008.
She worked as the youngest female local wine director at Viansa Winery at 23 years old which allowed her to frequently travel to improve her knowledge of the latest vintages, and to provide various information regarding winemaking and tasting.
Holly also is on the advisory board of the Atlanta Food Bank, and a longtime member of Les Dames d’Escoffier groups that support women, children, and families in need of food or education. Wine has brought an unexpected richness to Holly’s life and she enjoys sharing this richness with others.
Stags Leap Cellars is one of California’s earliest wine estates, a unique terroir and ideal microclimate support a classical standard of viticulture, land use, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago. An intimate valley within the greater Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap is a place of natural beauty, storied buildings and gardens, a lively history, and a reputation for elegant wines showing finesse and intensity.
Estate Founder Horace Chase partnered with his uncle, W. W. Thompson, on land where grapes had been planted in the 1880s by T.L. Grigsby (of nearby Occidental Winery, today’s Regusci Winery). The construction of the Manor House in 1890 was followed by the blasting of the Historic Wine Cave and first vintage in 1893. By 1895 production on the estate was up to 40,000 gallons of wine.
The Stags Leap name originated in the late 1880s with the founding Chase family, and is attributed to a native Wappo legend of a stag leaping to escape hunters. The mountains behind the property on the eastern side came to be known as the Stags Leap Palisades. Wine production has been interrupted periodically since the first Chase vintage due to financial reversals, Prohibition, and war; however, wine grapes have been grown continuously on the estate since its founding.
A fashionable country resort in the mid-twentieth century (the Grange Era), popular with Hollywood due to its 1890s stone Manor House and historic gardens, legends of bootleggers and gangsters, ghosts and gypsies, Stags’ Leap has been home to three major family groups up through the modern revitalization of the winery that began in the 1970s.
~Selections To Be Tasted~
2015 Stags Leap Karia Chardonnay $37.99*
James Suckling 90 Points: This graceful Chardonnay has a broad, expressive nose with lemon, stone fruit and vanilla aromas. Medium bodied, this wine has a lovely texture and flavors of red apple, light citrus and Asian pear that lead to a long finish with a hint of creamy oak. There is a nice balance to the acidity and minerality that enhances the freshness and elegance of this wine. Try pairing this Chardonnay with grilled chicken with lemon aioli, grilled salmon with a cucumber, tomato and fresh dill salsa or roast chicken breast stuffed with spinach, feta cheese and roasted tomato.
2014 Stags Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon $49.98*
Robert Parker 90 Points: The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis is a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Malbec. Among the top wines, it’s the least expensive red in the Stag’s Leap portfolio. An elegant style of wine, with notes of cedar wood, black and red currants and spice box, this medium-bodied, delicious, complex and elegant wine could easily pass for a second- or third-growth Bordeaux in a blind tasting. It should drink nicely for another 10-15 years.
2013 Stags Leap Fay Cabernet Sauvignon $ 139.99*
Robert Parker 95 Points: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Estate-Grown comes from a vineyard established by Nathan Fay in 1961. Beautiful blackcurrant, floral-infused fruit jumps from the glass of this dense ruby/purple wine. There are some loamy underpinnings of soil, but the wine is medium to full-bodied, beautifully fruited, with great texture, and terrific purity and personality. This is a serious and beautiful wine to drink over the next 20-25 years, if not longer.
2013 Stags Leap Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon $269.99*
Robert Parker 99 Points: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 ratchets up the level of complexity, richness and density. Magnificent floral notes intermixed with blueberry, blackberry and cassis, and there is no hint of new oak. A full-bodied opulence on the palate, great purity and personality make for a prodigious example of Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 30+ years. Kudos to Stags Leap Wine Cellars.