Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stag’s Leap 2012 Hands Of Time Napa Valley Red

Stag’s Leap Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon soundly beat the grandest French wines in the famous Judgment of Paris tasting in 1976. The winery has never looked back.

Haunting Hands Of Time

I was back in California recently, this time to Anaheim for a business meeting. I had arranged a dinner at The Catch, an upscale seafood and steak restaurant.

For the evening’s wines, I had selected a Zaca Mesa Viognier and on the red side, a tasty French Gigondas. I almost spilled my glass when I was informed that they were out of the Gigondas and weren’t able to special order it. I regained my composure when the server said that we were upgraded at no additional cost to Stag’s Leap 2012 Hands of Time red blend.

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High Fives All Around

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is a superlative winery that earned worldwide recognition for California wines by stomping the French competition in the Judgment of Paris blind tasting in 1976. Today their Cabernets are extraordinary and Artemis and Cask 23 are close to the hearts of wine lovers.

Hands of Time is the entry level Bordeaux blend from Stag’s Leap. On the upper level, the label allows you to authenticate your wine. The estate tier of wines are all north of $100.

The good news is Hands of Time is a sensational wine. At about $30, it is loaded with Napa goodness. The blend is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot. This gives it a soft texture but enough structure to stand up to a nice medium rare filet.

On the palate this is juicy black cherry flavors with a touch of cedar and chocolate. The finish is fine and lingering. The bottle shows the image of a hand with palm outstretched. This prompted many of our dinner guests to “high five” the bottles for a job well done.

A Thoughtful Wine

When the “Hands of Time” unexpectedly shows up on your table, it causes you to reflect. On how time passes too quickly. On people and friends from years gone by. On the promise of tomorrow.

This is a wine well suited for “deep thoughts” such as these or just plain enjoying good food and wine. At about $30, this is affordable even after the restaurant markup. The Hands of Time may indeed move too quickly – slow them down and enjoy each second with this bottle.

Rating: 4 of 5  Value: 5 of 5

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