Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2005 Treasure Cellars Stag's Leap Cabernet

I've spent the last two nights with two bottles of 2005 Treasure Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District and I'm still trying to figure out whether or not I like this stuff. Pretty, deep garnet color. The nose seems a bit disjointed with stewed blackberries, licorice, purple flowers and minerals. Maybe it's just that cooked fruit thing that I can't get on board with? Palate seems a bit murky, too, with the stewed fruit, minerals and dusty tannins. Not only does the fruit lack definition, but the wine seems a bit more advanced that a five year old Napa Cabernet. There's definitely a hint of oxidation in the glass. In fact, I opened a second bottle tonight just to make sure last night's bottle wasn't "off." But my notes are consistent from last night to finishing last night's bottle with dinner tonight to breaking into a second bottle halfway through dinner. Develops a rather nasty green streak on the long, dusty finish, too. I bought two bottles based on the fact that it's $25 and that there really aren't any bad wines coming from Stag Leap. I won't be going back for any more.

In case you aren't familiar with Treasure Hunter, it's one of the labels from Three Fingers Wine Company. I'm not sure about the other labels in this line-up, but Treasure Hunter is a negociant label. That means they buy wines that other wineries have an excess of and sell it for 1/4 to 1/2 of the wine's original price. I've recently had mixed results with two other Treasure Hunter wines. I absolutely loved their 2008 "Radio Caroline" Diamond Mountain Cabernet but loathed the 2009 "Silk Sling" St. Helena (actually Spring Mountain) Cabernet. Allegedly, the "Treasure Cellars" label is only used on the best Treasure Hunter wines. Not sure about that. I guess I'd put the Stags Leap offering somewhere between the other two. But I don't think I could recommend it; even at $25. There are just too many other good Cabernet and Cabernet-based blends out there for the same amount of money.


  1. Bill, this is so good a review that no score is needed, but it seems strange to be referring to Stag's Leap and Spring Mountain AVAs with anything other than a glowing review.
    I've not seen any of these wines in NH, and as I told another blogger: "I’m trying to be an advocate for NH wine buyers, and to keep it real, I, for the time-being, will not order wine I can’t purchase in the NH stores." However, you never know when these wines will end-up here.

    1. I think it's admirable that you're only supporting NH retailers and buying locally. I have no problem with that whatsoever. Other than the two shipments of Dunning I get each year, everything else I buy is local (most of it from the store I work at, of course).

      As far as the Spring Mountain AVA is concerned, I've never been a fan. I find the vast majority of Cabernets from Spring Mountain to be overly vegetal for my taste. Cain, Schweiger, Keenan, Vineyard 7 & 8, Paloma, Guilliams, Juslyn, Spring Mountain Vineyards, Zins from Ridge's York Creek Vineyard...the list goes on and on.

      About the only winery I like on Spring Mountain is Pride. And I'll be the first to admit I only like their wines for their hedonistic, chocolaty flavors. I don't think they show any Spring Mountain terroir at all.

  2. Spring Mt. 101, very interesting! I too am not a fan of 'overly vegetal' wines; I think often it's too much black currant flavor which is responsible, but I've not noticed this sort of thing in the Ridge York creek Zin.
    As for the Pride, I've seen this around and am looking forward, on your recommendation, to trying this. No presure here;->

    1. I used to drink a good bit of Pride Cab, Merlot and Cab Franc back in the 90s when it was widely available in Texas and $30/bottle. I don't see much of it around here in K.C. and it's probably crept into the $40-50 range anyway - not something I'm currently interested in.

      But I've got a good friend who was on their mailing list for years and he's still sitting on a good stash of Pride Reserves (they were going for $100/bottle back then) and he's pretty generous with them. Might be a note or two in the archives here. I know we had one last summer. Great wines, but I only say that because they are so atypical of the AVA. ;-)