Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Cliff Lede's 100-point Cabernet Sauvignon: Poetry

Cliff Lede Vineyards crafts perfect-scoring wine.




Left: Bob McClenahan; Right: Courtesy of Cliff Lede Vineyards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When he was a child, Cliff Lede often watched his mother make wine at home. Today, his Napa Valley winery makes wines that receive more than 90 points from The Wine Advocate, including his flagship 100-point Cabernet Sauvignon, Poetry.

“Our philosophy is that wine is made in the vineyard and that our role as vintners is to delicately craft the wine with the purest expression of fruit from the vineyard,” says Remi Cohen, the vice president and general manager of Lede Family Wines.

Cliff Lede Vineyards took root in 2002 when Lede, a Bordeaux wine collector involved with his family’s construction company, bought 60 acres in Napa Valley’s renowned Stags Leap District. He decided to replant almost the entire estate, and now a full-time crew works year-round to hand-farm the Napa Green-certified vineyard. The coveted Poetry vineyard is in the northeast corner of Stags Leap District, on a west-facing rocky hillside that radiates warmth, creating daytime temperatures that are a little higher than those of the surrounding areas.

Bob McClenahan

During harvest, the berries are handpicked at night, when cooler temperatures prevail. Laborers use 25-pound bins to protect the fruit and minimize crushing. The clusters are then manually sorted before a high-tech optical sorting machine scans each grape for shape and color, rejecting less-than-perfect berries. After the completion of a final hand-sort, a unique crane system delivers the best grapes to pear-shaped tanks for fermentation.

“This distinctive shape provides for more submersion of the cap of grape skins that forms during fermentation. It also creates a place where the wine can naturally mix for better extraction of color, tannin, and flavors,” says Cohen.

Library vintages of Poetry are occasionally poured by appointment in the winery’s Backstage Reserve Tasting Lounge. There, you can enjoy other limited-production wines while perusing art exhibitions, leaving the business of crafting perfect-scoring wine to the Lede team—they do it so well.


1473 Yountville Cross Rd., Yountville, (707) 944-8642, cliffledevineyards.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Wine Made Easy

Become a vintner with Wine Country’s posh new wine club.

World Class Wine Tasting

Elevate your Wine Country experience with these six wine-tasting adventures.

Beyond Cab and Chardonnay

Tocai Friulano, anyone? Trousseau Gris? Tocai Friulano, anyone? Trousseau Gris? If Cabernet Sauvignon is king, Chardonnay queen, Pinot Noir prince, and Zinfandel the wild court jester, what’s to make of the escalating number of esoteric varietals....

The Holy Grail

A trifecta of talent introduces the newest cult cabernet.

Final Twist: Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi Winery's barrel aging room.

Where to Taste in Wine Country

With an explosion of new—and newly renovated—wineries and tasting rooms, Wine Country offers even more must-see destinations.

Wine Tasting For a Living

BevMo evaluator Wilfred Wong talks wine. Wilfred Wong got his start as a wine connoisseur when working for his family’s Ashbury Market in the early 1970s

Pet-Friendly Wineries

Fido will love these dog-friendly tasting rooms.

Now Pouring

Uncorking vintages in delightful new tasting rooms.

Learn How to Bottle at Spirit Works Distillery

Become an Employee for A Day at Spirit Works Distillery.

French Toast

Fabulous wines pair with Michelin bites at St. Helena’s Posh new tasting room.

Summer Sips: Rose Tasting

Hit these five tasting rooms for refreshing rosés.