One of the earliest wineries in the now famous Stags Leap district, Clos du Val was founded in 1972 by American businessman John Goelet and French-born winemaker Bernard Portet. Bernard's father had been manager at Chateau Lafite, where he and his brother Dominique (ex Taltarni) were raised. Clos du Val began life as 150 acres of vineyards on some of the finest land in the Stags Leap district. In 1973, an additional 180 acres of vineyards were purchased in the cool-climate Carneros region.
The winemaking team, now led by Ted Henry and Mabel Ojeda, are building further on an already outstanding reputation, utilising the very best Napa fruit to produce handcrafted, estate wines famed for their balance, elegance and complexity. The late maturing Cabernet Sauvignon is the benchmark variety for wines from the Stags Leap district whilst Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of the Carneros region. It's understandable that the rare delicacy of these wines makes them so sought after.
Beginning in 2014, the winery affirmed its commitment to the importance of its own estate fruit by dramatically reducing production and concentrating almost entirely upon estate-grown wines. Clos Du Val has also ceased using any herbicides or pesticides in its vineyards, and the estate is halfway through the three year process of full organic certification.
Clos Du Val participates in the Napa Green scheme, a comprehensive sustainability certification program for vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley. Its soil-to-bottle stewardship includes protecting and restoring the Napa River watershed; saving energy and water; reducing waste and carbon footprint; and being conscientious employers and good neighbours. Independent, third-party certification of farms and winemaking facilities makes Napa Green one of the most rigorous sustainability accreditations the wine industry offers.
This wine is made from a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc and 7% Merlot. The vines for this predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon blend are up to 29 years old and grow in gravelly clay loam.
Fermented in stainless steel tanks with 2 pumpovers daily. The wine is aged in French and Hungarian oak barrels for 20 months, 65% of which is new oak.
Classic Napa Cabernet. The colour is a deep garnet and the wine has aromas of black fruits, cedar wood, dark chocolate and leather. The palate is rich and complex with supple blackcurrant fruits and more complex characters of wood spice and graphite pencil. The texture is focused with well structured tannins and great acidity. A wine that drinks brilliantly now and will age well for the next decade.
Slam in the lamb! Alternatively stick with quality British beef or a host of other succulent meat roasts. Or approximately 2kg of cheese.