One of the earliest wineries in the now famous Stag's 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 Stag's Leap district. In 1973 an additional 180 acres of vineyards were purchased in the cool-climate Carneros region. The winemaking team now led by John Clews and Kirsty Melton 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 Stag's Leap district, where cool night-time temperatures and the reflected heat of the Stag's Leap Palisades during the day provide ideal conditions. In comparisonChardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of the Carneros region, where the cool maritime breezes moderate the temperature and allow the extended slow and even ripening that these varieties demand to achieve the level of concentration and rare delicacy that makes them so sought after.
The vines for this predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon blend are up to 28 years old and grow in gravelly loam.
Fermented in stainless steel tanks with 2 pumpovers daily. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 18 months, 25% of which is new oak.
A deep ink coloured wine with a purplish hue. The concentrated nose has a balanced blend of dark fruits, cedar wood and toasty oak. Flavours of blackberries and blackcurrant lead to an expansive mid-palate - this is ripe but retains superb poise with a lovely integration of tannin, bright acidity and wood complimenting the fruit.