Quixote, "Panza" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon|Napa Valley

Stags Leap Cab for under $100 is a rarity, let alone one made by one of the most in-demand vignerons in the world!

Philippe Melka was anointed by Robert Parker as one of the Top 10 winemakers in the world in 2015. He’s a Bordeaux-raised-and-educated enologist extraordinaire whose deft touch has contributed to countless amazing creations, from Napa and Paso Robles to Bordeaux and beyond. If you’ve never heard of him, you might have heard of some of the wines he’s made: Château Haut-Brion, Château Petrus, Lail, Hundred Acre, Dominus Estate, Bryant Family, and Dana Estates…and that’s just a small snapshot of his CV!

Panza is part of Melka’s “Quixote” estate project in the venerable Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, focusing exclusively on this historic site. Along with winemaker B.R. Smith, they leave no detail unattended; from hand-harvesting to manual punchowns, and aging in French oak (and even some terracotta!), these are serious, soulful wines with a touch of eccentricity and originality.

The wine is everything one expects from a 100% Cabernet from the Stags Leap District: dark blackcurrant liqueur, tobacco, menthol, allspice, and mesquite. Melka’s Bordelais roots show as a through-line in the wine's nervy, tight tannins wrapped around a core of bright black-cherry and plum fruit. The woodsy, smoky notes come out with a good hour’s decanting and the wine’s potential to age shows in the balanced, still-young profile. Absolutely enjoy it now, but you’ll be pleasantly rewarded with another 5-7 years of aging, just as you would a fine Bordeaux.

The estate is unlike any other in Napa; it spans 27 acres of organic farm and vineyards in the Stags Leap District. The aesthetic channels the Guadí-esque architecture one sees throughout Barcelona, with eccentric curves and eclectic Spanish tile mosaics throughout. You must see it, and when you do tell them we sent you!

Melka’s other wines go for three figures or more, as will nearly any other Stags Leap Cab today. Any way you compare it, this organic, artisanal Cab outclasses its peers at a fraction of the price. And free nationwide shipping on only four bottles sweetens the deal. Cheers!

  • $65.00

Free shipping on four bottles