At Home with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

From Chicago Spring 2009

Back in Singapore, and missing Chicago already (picture above of my old neighborhood in the spring sunshine).

On my last day in Chicago, I had wanted to surprise Jeff with a bottle of the Henriot Rose Champagne we had so enjoyed in Austria. Coincidentally, we found out that he was planning to do the same thing, so rather than getting two bottles of the same wine, we decided to make the walk to Sam’s Wine (Roosevelt) together. Once there though, we changed our minds on the Rose and excitedly picked out a bottle of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon SLV 2004.

From Chicago Spring 2009

Since the price was much more than we had expected to pay, we decided to make the evening around the wine, instead of the juicy steak at Tango Sur, one of my favorite Chicago haunts, as we had originally planned. So off we trekked to his go-to comfort food place, Cozy’s, which is just a block away from his apartment. Haha, he’s been so often that he got the celebrity treatment even before he walked into the door. It was sort of surreal: one of the waiters was tending to the sidewalk garden as we were walking into the place, and the guy was like, hey Jeff, good to see you! And when we walked in, three others immediately came up to him smiling and saying, hey Jeff, how’s it going? Your food’s almost ready!

We got banmee nam noodles and curry fried rice, very pan-Asian, but simple, hearty, and quite delicious. It paired beautifully with the wine too (we were too lazy to use a decanter, but simply let the wine sit in the glasses for a bit).

Jeff’s review of the 2004 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon SLV:

The wine is very smooth at first contact, almost like a very old wine that has lost it’s tannins, but the flavors slowly evolve as you slosh the wine around your mouth. It has an elegant and balanced body and a smooth finish.

Totally agree. I loved how dark and concentrated it felt in my mouth, but without the bite of the tannins – quite unlike the Chloe Jeremy Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006 we just had recently in that last regard. So it was a simple, quiet evening in, with good food, some opera, incredible wine, and excellent company.

*FYI, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is different from Stags’ Leap Winery (note the difference in the apostrophes) as we found out at Sam’s; we were inquiring about the different price points – the latter wine’s was less than half the price of the cheapest Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars wines we saw. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is the winery that helped catapult Napa Valley wines to fame in the Judgment of Paris in 1976.


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