Once upon a time, one of my favorite wineries was readily accessible. One could walk in, without an appointment, and enjoy their wide portfolio of wines in a relatively mellow atmosphere. On this past Saturday, my experience was noticeably different. Cliff Lede has been discovered, and it seems to be by almost everyone! The tasting room was filled with people all along the long bar and out on the patio, and there was an event going on in a seated private tasting area.
I had to inquire, what transpired? Clearly something had changed — and that’s good for them. It is known that quality can’t be kept a secret. People finally discovered the limited production wines. Most recently, their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Poetry was awarded a perfect score of 100 points from Robert Parker. This seems to have opened the floodgates of individuals coming through the doors of Cliff Lede.
I should have known. The wine was too good and so were the prices across the portfolio. What I had always found appealing was their Stags Leap Cabernet. It was a solid wine with great tannic structure and depth of flavor. Today that wine sells for $78 and wins ratings of 93 points from Robert Parker and 92 points from Antonio Galloni. This is an excellent drinking wine for the price.
Cliff Lede offers several different tastings. They range from walk-in tastings at the bar to reserved tastings for their limited production wines. At the bar, you will have the opportunity to taste through their Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Claret and the Stags Leap Cabernet. The refreshing whites are a pleasant beginning to the deep flavors of the red wine. The Claret was a real winner on the day of our tasting as well! All the wines were well crafted and enjoyable.
Cliff Lede is a winery I frequently refer my friends to for a walk-in tasting that is hard to beat. Next time you get to the Napa Valley, give their wines a try and discover them for yourself. Wines are available for purchase on their website as well.