Long ago in the rugged hills of Napa, Black Bart, a gentleman bandit, became famous for robbing the stagecoach. Over 100 years later that terrain remains famous, not for the daring escapades of a bandit, but for producing some of the world’s most award winning wines, including our very own Perry Moore Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
Shortly after Black Bart’s robbery, early German settlers discovered the rich, well drained soil and their grapes flourished and fetched very high prices. Prohibition during the 1920’s however shut down the wine business and forced the land into dormancy. In 1991 Dr. Jan Krupp discovered the abandoned land and purchased the property. His dream was to create a vineyard that rivaled the lands of Bordeaux.
However, realizing that dream was not an easy feat. This is a wild and daring land, difficult to conquer, dubbed “the last frontier of Napa Valley.” Krupp excavated over a billion pounds of volcanic rock, and fought through chaparral and sagebrush that had taken over. A seasoned geologist failed to locate water on the property after drilling to 300 feet in five locations. Krupp then hired a “water witch” who found an underwater stream located 400 feet down.
Taming this extreme terroir is a tribute to human ingenuity and determination, but it also results in some incredible wines. Stagecoach now boasts of over 600 acres planted with sixteen varietals, mostly Cabernet. With elevations between 1200-1750 feet, Stagecoach is the largest south facing mountain vineyard in Napa, sitting high above the fog. The mountain characteristics of this extreme terroir lead to wines with big tannins and complex flavors. Yet Stagecoach wines are no ordinary “mountain” wines, they are the highest scoring wines from any mountain vineyard in the world!
Our personal Stagecoach favorite is made by Perry Moore. Perry Moore is committed to sourcing only the best grapes for his wines, and Stagecoach grapes certainly deliver on that tall order. Here’s a little bit on one of our Napa favorites:
Perry Moore Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
A wine with a complex nose of red and black fruit aromas, with some dried herbs enveloping the aromatic profile. On the palate, it is focused on pure, rich layers of dark berry, cedar, tobacco, black licorice and dried herb, tightening on the finish, where the flavors push through.
The 2008 vintage scored a whopping 94 Points from the Wine Enthusiast, and this 2010 proves to live up to that status. The wild wild west spirit of Stagecoach certainly is found in this great wine. It will age beautifully over the next 12-15 years, and who wouldn’t want the legacy of Stagecoach Vineyard in their cellar?