Rock & Roll with Wines from Cliff Lede's Rock Block

February 04, 2019

Cliff Lede Rock Block Vineyards

93 pts. | 2015 Cliff Lede, Stags Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon

Today’s offer is gaining big-time traction with collectors around the Bay Area. The operation - and the mission statement, as it were - are what you would expect from upscale, up valley Napa-Yountville address, energy efficient (Napa Green land and Green Winery designations), small production, new oak, etc., etc.

So, no different than all the others. Right? Not so fast.

The Readers Digest version: The Lede family (pronounced lay-dee) are big-time Canadian movers and shakers. Literally. The Ledcor company, short list: Property development, forestry, communication infrastructure, transportation, energy projects, building construction.

OK so a rich guy buys a winery. What else is new? It’s not what you think. Mr. Cliff has been here 16 years now. He’s all in, and the wines are great. Mr. Cliff is also a pretty whimsical dude.

He named all of his vineyards after famous operas. No, wait a minute. Different guy. Mr. Cliff is all rock and roll. Nowhere else will you find a vineyard named “Born to Run”. Or “Pinball Wizard”. Or “Moondance”. Not that I know of anyway. Might be a Bohemian Rhapsody vineyard in the Czech Republic, but it’s doubtful.

Mr. Cliff is a pretty hip geek.

The wine:

2015 is a wonderful, if drought-influenced, year. This offering is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with the usual Bordeaux mix (along with a dollop of Malbec) for the remainder. The wine has some noticeable tannin but drinks fairly smooth, with a brightness to the nose and dark fruits and exotic spices (including cinnamon but not from the Cinnamon Girl vineyard). The wine will age nicely, but an hour of air in a decanter is really helpful now.

In the wake of the North Bay infernos, the only mistake Mr. Cliff appears to have made is in the naming of the ‘Light My Fire’ vineyard.

Ah well.
Nobody’s perfect.


2015 Cliff Lede, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap District

A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Merlot, 7% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District offers up a cassis, smoked meat, blackberry preserves and spice cake-scented nose with a mocha hint. Full-bodied, rich and concentrated with firm, grainy tannins, it shows a lot of oak, which should marry with the intense fruit, finishing long and layered.” 93 points | The Wine Advocate

We hope you love this wine as much as we do!
The WineBank Team

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