Poetry is Cliff Lede’s icon wine, grown in its estate vineyard, a hillside of fractured volcanic soils ranging from the highest elevation of Stags Leap District to the valley floor. This blend is nearly 90 percent Cabernet with some Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, hand picked at night into small bins and moved by gravity into small tanks and wooden cuves. The cold soak lasted between five and eight days before fermentation with pump over and délestage, plus maceration of up to 6 weeks. The wine spent 18 months in French oak.
The vinification process and sterling 2012 vintage have conspired to produce a wine with tremendous power and concentration. The color is a saturated ruby garnet, nearly opaque, and the scent is of red fruits and macerated blueberries, old wood, a hint of violets. The body is authoritative, nearly monumental, stained by dark fruits and spice: dried blueberries, dried plums, cassis, cedar, allspice, black earth. The structure is likewise monolithic, with pronounced alcohol and astringent tannins.
In short, it’s far too young but its frame and provenance signify it was made to age. Lay it down for at least five years.
15.2% abv | about $200 (sample)