Ratings: NA (Wine Advocate), 82 (Wine Spectator)
THE WINNER OF THE 1976 JUDGMENT OF PARIS
From the Personal Cellar of Joseph Phelps
Re-corked at the Joseph Phelps Winery in 1992:
If you plan on cellaring a wine for as much as 100 years, or if you have a very old bottle that you wish to hold onto longer, recorking could make sense as a cautionary measure for your personal and eventual enjoyment! For centuries, it was commonplace to recork wines in most wine regions, at the Chateau/winery or in permitted corking clinics. In Bordeaux the thought was to replace corks roughly every 30 years. It was possible at a few of the top Classified Growths to get your wines recorked, but most stopped doing it by 2005.
We would not purchase a bottle of wine that has been recorked by an individual, and not winery-sanctioned. On the other hand, there is no fear about buying a wine that has been professionally recorked at the winery or with winery permissions. This is the case here!
Our incredible collection of 1973 Stag’s Leap, SLV has just arrived from the esteemed private cellar of Joseph Phelps – Napa Valley founder, winemaker and icon! Phelps was a major buyer and collector who had direct access to virtually all the greatest wines in the world, and most certainly in Napa Valley.
Warren Winiarski of SLV gave Joseph Phelps permission to recork his selection of winners from the ’76 Judgment of Paris
, by providing the caps and corks from Stag’s Leap to better preserve these champions. It’s not a reproduction, it was a collaboration. The two felt this would prolong the longevity of the wine and clearly, this wine is expected to live on. The limits of its excellence are still not known.
The senior VP who oversaw the sale of the collection said “the documentation of provenance and storage is truly exceptional”, so we did not hesitate to consider the recorking of the bottles to be neutral, if not a plus!