The online home of Mark “The Cork Head” Stuart, Certified Wine Professional, speaker/educator, judge, and columnist.

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January 2018
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Staglin Estate Cab LabelI often tell my clients, and anyone who will listen really, that I’m all about finding quality wine for the price–no matter the price.  Basically what I’m talking about is getting a good bang for your buck.

Typically this strategy finds me scouring competition results for under priced stars and other moderately priced choices.  However that doesn’t mean I won’t recommend bottles from the upper end of the market when warranted.  

The 2006 Staglin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is warranted indeed.  

Napa Valley Vintners, the trade association dedicated to protecting and promoting the region’s wares, passed through San Diego’s recently transformed Liberty Station as it completed a  road show featuring many of the best wineries Napa Valley has to offer. 

Internationally recognized pillars of the industry such as Shafer, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Paradigm uncorked their current releases, among the over 100 wineries in attendance.  With such a stellar field of participants, the fact that Staglin stood so tall among it’s peers says even more about how thrilling this wine truly  is.

Owners Garen and Shari Staglin brought in their first vintage in 1986.  These were not exactly the swashbuckling Napa days circa 1960 but certainly before it became the Disneyland of wine.  Their vision and courage to move their life from the corporate world to become farmers and vintners resulted in some of the most sought after wines in the United States.

OK, now to the price.  It retails for upwards of $175 a bottle.  Yep, it ain’t cheap, but there is nothing but goodness behind the label, and I’m not just talking about the wine.  More on the wine itself in a jiff.

To the Staglin’s credit, the family has as strong of a focus on charitable activities which may, as hard as it is to believe, outperform the quality of their wines.  Since 1995, Staglin Family Vineyard has sponsored and hosted The Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health.  100% of the festival costs are underwritten by sales of Staglin’s second label, Salus (named after the Greek Goddess of Health).  Since inception, the festival has raised a jaw dropping 53 million dollars to support research of brain disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and bi-polar disorder.  The 2010 version of the festival features Dwight Yoakam and takes place September 11th at the estate. 

Oh yeah…about the wine.  Wow.  When Shari poured me my first taste of her 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, I looked at her and exclaimed while the wine was still in my mouth, “I just don’t think I can spit this out!”  And I didn’t. 

Rare indeed does a wine pass a professional palate at an academic tasting without winding up in a frothing cup of expectorated juice.  Personally it has only happened to me once before where a 2000 Margaux found its way to my lips.  I digress…

This wine expresses everything a Napa Valley cabernet is supposed to be about.   Power, complexity, and a finish so long I literally am still tasting it nearly a week later.

So, indulge me for a brief moment.  Slow down your reading, take a deep breath, and play along with this little experiment. 


Paint a detailed picture of yourself getting behind the wheel of a brand new 7 series BMW.  Feel the firmness of the seat.  Smell the aromatics of the interior.  Imagine the color.  Close the door and fire up the engine.  Feel the gentle vibration as you put it in gear and gently pull out of the drive before punching the accelerator, feeling your body being forced back into the seat while racing down a back street.  Notice how quiet the ride is, allowing you to acutely focus on the handling of the car and the peaceful soft music playing in the background. 

Firm.  Aromatic.  Moving.  Emotional.

The 2006 Staglin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon can have the exact same affect on your mind, body and soul.  Such a passionate experience will mark a place in time for years to come.  Now that’s a long finish if I’ve ever heard of one!

Great quality wine at a fair price–no matter the price. If there is a single bottle you purchase for a special occasion this year, make it this one.  

When considering everything tucked away behind the Staglin label, even at $175, it is a bargain in my book.

Find the 2006 Staglin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon in your market with Snooth.

One Comment

  1. Posted 04/05/10 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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