Co-founder John Williams (is still the owner & winemaker) came to Napa Valley in 1975 from upstate New York where he was raised on a dairy farm; John became the first employee for Warren Winiarski at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. John helped bottle the 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon which took the highest average score from the mostly French judges for red wines in the now famed Paris Tasting of 1976. The judges in this blind tasting evaluated California versus French wines. John also made wine at Glenora Winery in the Finger Lakes District in New York State (the oldest winery on Seneca Lake, founded 1977) in their early years and later was the head winemaker at Spring Mountain Vineyards in Napa Valley.
Winery Notes: Occasionally, we like to say as winemakers that we would gladly hit a repeat button on a great vintage—and while usually meant in jest, the 2019 vintage gave us just such an opportunity. The 2019 growing season was long and warm, with cool nights, which helped to set the vines up beautifully for an extended harvest season. A little extra heat at harvest compared with the previous year gave the 2019 wines an extra dose of power and tannin, but the wine still abounds in the famous Rutherford ‘Dust’ – defined for us by a synergy of herbs and black fruit, tension between the flavors, and a long finish reminiscent of rough velvet. This powerful and delicious vintage will be one for the ages, and will in time develop all of the hallmarks of a wine that reflects our home here in Rutherford. I recommend a healthy decant if you decide to open a bottle early, and please cellar a few more for the long haul.""