Founded in 1985 by Shari, Garen, Brandon and Shannon, Staglin Family Vineyard takes pride in the tradition of family ownership; their mission is to produce world class wines, with the aid of viticulturalist David Abreu, that reflect the distinctive character of their historic Rutherford Bench estate in the Napa Valley. The estate dates back to 1868 and the Staglin Family view themselves modestly as ‘stewards’ of the land, the latest in an historic line. Consequently, they farm the vineyard organically, and produce the wines in a state of the art underground production facility.

The wines include a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay together with a very small amount of Sangiovese, each expressive of the unique characteristics of their Rutherford estate, and reflective of the fastidious care and attention invested in their viticultural and production practices.

“Great wines for great causes” has long been the company motto. Shari and Garen Staglin’s son, Brandon, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1990; with treatment and family support, Brandon was able to recover. However the family realised that advancements in scientific research were vital to understanding mental illness; subsequently the Staglin Family have donated and raised in excess of $800 million for mental health charities.



The straw colored 2014 Salus Chardonnay opens with a bright nose of citrus zest, young pineapple, and white, waxy tropical flowers floating over freshly whipped cream speckled with shaved almonds. Flavors of lemon chiffon, D’Anjou pear and fleshy ripe cantaloupe teased with frangipane cascade across the palate, which remains pure and precise while exhibiting a delightful interplay of richness and acidity – unctuous, racy and delightful!


Bright and a touch precocious, the 2017 Salus Chardonnay is an aromatic delight of yellow citrus, apical golden apple and Bosc pear just past crisp with hints of honeysuckle, muskmelon and roasted almond. Balancing weight and lift, the powerful pomaceous fruit core is sheathed in light and energy, where flavors of sliced cantaloupe meet the abundant soft acids of ripe grapefruit and the smallest sprinkle of crystalized ginger.



The 2018 Salus is rich and expressive with heady aromas of honeysuckle and chamomile surrounding a core of butterscotch inflected citrus and young tropical fruits warmed by subtle spices. Body and texture abound as the swirl of juicy ripe fruits glide across the palate in a seamless flow of unctuous delight kept honest by a refreshing undercurrent of acidity.



Intensely dark, black fruits fill the glass with the blackberry, blackcurrant, boysenberry and ripe Damson plum taking center stage. Unctuous and resinous, the complex notes of leather, coffee extract, cocoa liquor and crushed rocks are given lift and lightness by an integrated essence of camphor, anise and potpourri. While the palate is initially a bit compact and focused, it quickly blossoms into a wonderfully mouth coating elixir with a fine-grained structure and a lively, granular texture that keeps on keeping on. This 2013 Salus Cabernet Sauvignon is at present a big, structured and tightly wrapped wine that will give and grow when given time and air.


Ripe, dark and wonderfully herbaceous, the 2016 Salus Cabernet Sauvignon is redolent of the tradition but undeniably Napa in its abundant exuberance. Deep black and blue fruits rich with confection swirl around a plushly textured core, given lift and dimension by resinous flowers, milled spices and subtle earth. At once pillow-y and powerful, this youthful wine will likely shed some weight and become more determined with additional time in bottle.



The evocatively dark hued 2011 Salus Cabernet Sauvignon has an animated, high-toned nose of red currants and blackberries deepened by notes of menthol laden lavender, loose tobacco and raw cedar. The seamless palate of wild cherries, Arctic raspberries and black currants reveals spicy layers of Bay leaf, cinnamon and spearmint that give lift to an elegantly balanced exit of subtle, fine- grained tannins that are enlivened by refreshing acidity. This supple and silky wine drinks well now but should reward a little cellar time with additional roundness and complexity.



This is a generous and rich wine marked by dark red fruits, purple flowers and confectionary treats. The pure and primary palate of succulent black cherries, ripe raspberries and plush blackcurrants is teased by a heady aroma of violets mingled with menthol and a hint of cracked green peppercorns. Round and full, the finish is wonderfully fine-grained with delightfully soft edges that give a tremendous amount of pleasure.



A complex nose of savory-herb and camphor infused blackcurrant and Mission fig is deepened by rich notes of forest floor and green olives with hints of anise. An impeccably balanced and ethereal palate of cinnamon inflected black-and-blueberries melts seamlessly into a silky leather, loam and mineral driven finish that is given a beautifully delicate structure by the super fine-grained tannins that mark the vintage.


The bright and animated 2011 Stagliano is a profuse lavender and periwinkle lifted red fruit cocktail of Bing cherries, Merryweather plums, redcurrants and Arctic raspberries. The wine deepens and darkens with air to reveal a backdrop of blackberries and dried blueberries teased by notes of bay leaf, tarragon and dried red roses. This beautifully structured vintage finishes with a clean, fine-grained finish of velvety, tea leaf-like tannins. Though showing admirably well now, a few additional years in the bottle will allow this wine to fully develop and evolve.