The 2014 FORTIS combines notable elegance with rich fruit intensity. Ripe mountain blackberry, cassis, dark plum, dark chocolate, sweet oak, coffee, and vanilla aromas lead to an expansive palate of dark cassis, espresso bean, plum, and black cherry. We barrel age the wine in our winery’s caves to mature flavors and integrate plush, layered textures. This is a seamless wine with great finesse that will continue to age gracefully.
2014 was the third consecutive year of drought and the third fantastic vintage with perfectly ripe fruit coupled with high acidity. Weather overall was a bit cooler than in 2013, but conditions were excellent with no real threat to the vines. A mild winter combined with heavy rains in February and March nourished the thirsty vines and resulted in early bud break. The berries were hand harvested at night, carefully sorted, and destemmed to tank, where fermentation took place. Then, the wine was racked to 100 percent new French oak barrels, where it was aged for 26 months prior to bottling.
For this special bottling, only the finest blocks of the most outstanding fruit are selected from our 160 acres of estate vineyards across the Napa Valley. The appellation composition of every vintage varies, depending upon the performance and character of each vineyard. For 2014, the blend is composed of 85 percent Stags Leap District, 6 percent Howell Mountain, 5 percent Oakville, and 4 percent Rutherford fruit.
Food Pairing Notes
To fully appreciate the complexity of this wine, serve it with simple foods such as a juicy sirloin steak with garlic butter, or braised short ribs with herbed polenta. The ultimate pairing is a glass of 2014 FORTIS with a cheese course. It needs a hard cheese of heightened flavor and depth, such as an aged Pecorino Toscano. Robust and meaty, with hints of melted butter and lemon, a well-made Tuscan pecorino is the cheese equivalent of a grilled lamb chop. What better wine with such a savory cheese than this sumptuous tête de cuvée?