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Expensive wine of the month, August 2009: Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

image Warren Winiarski and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars have been around Napa Valley for as long as Napa Valley has been famous for wine. His 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon was the winning red wine in the legendary 1976 Judgment of Paris, and his winery has been producing quality wine ever since.

The Artemis is not Winiarski’s most expensive wine. It retails for around $60, while the S.L.V and Cask 23 go for $125 and $195. But it’s pricey enough for those of us who pay attention to these things, and it also offers a good bit of value. The Artemis is a tad more subtle than most of its ilk, and it’s even low alcohol – just 13.8 percent. But it is still Napa Valley cabernet, rich and opulent, with sweet black cherry fruit and well-formed tannins. Winemaker Nicki Pruss knew exactly what she was doing.

Serve this with any fancy red meat dinner, drink it slowly, and appreciate the history that comes with this bottle. One note: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is different from Stags' Leap Winery, which is down the road, and yes, they have a history with each other.

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