Just wanted to check in, and share a few samples from Cornerstone Cellars that I have been sippin’ on recently.
When we recorded last week’s episode of the We Like Drinking Podcast (available now on iTunes and your favorite podcatcher apps), I opened up this bad boy to pair with some Penne Pasta and Sausage…
The Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Oakville Station Merlot is one of the first releases from Cornerstone’s new single vineyard series. The wine consists of 100% Merlot from the Oakville Station block of the world-famous To Kalon vineyard in California’s Napa Valley. This wine retails for $75.
Color: This Merlot has a deep ruby red color. It’s so deeply red, it’s almost purple.
Nose: Bright cranberry and earthy blackberry aromas.
Taste: This wine is so much more than the ripe dark fruit that is so present on the front of the palate. Just wait for it… There it is! There’s this awesome meaty quality, and a long, tangy and spicy finish.
Score: If you heard me taste this wine for the first time on the podcast, I let out a long, high-pitched, “Mmmmmmmm!!!!!” once the wine hit my lips… Here’s why…
I was really excited to learn that Cornerstone was going to start doing single vineyard wines. To me, there is no better way to truly understand the ever elusive terroir of a region. This Merlot does not disappoint. This wine is bangin’! 92 points.
On to the next wine!
Along with starting their single vineyard series with the 2012 vintage, Cornerstone will now be producing a special blend of these vineyards. The Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Michael’s Cuvée is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot. The fruit comes from Oakville Station (57%), Karios Vineyard in Oak Knoll (28%), and Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain (9%). The blend is named after Dr. Michael Dragutsky, who founded Cornerstone in 1991. This wine is also $75. I paired it with a Chicken Apple Sausage on a Whole Wheat Bun with Onions and Mushrooms.
Color: Another deep ruby red wine from Cornerstone’s 2012 vintage.
Nose: Fruits of plum, red currant, and blackberry. This wine is woodsy, both in terms of oak integration and the subtle forest floor aromas. Nice notes of menthol as well.
Taste: Ripe dark fruits up front transition to tangy red fruit flavors on the finish. There is a herbaceous backbone of mint, menthol, and tobacco leaf that is present throughout.
Score: This wine is bombastic, and yet subtle. It’s in your face, but in a really laid back kind of way. It’s Taylor Swift doing a set of Radiohead covers. 93+ points.
Which of these wines from Cornerstone Cellars sounds the best to you? Leave a comment, and let us know.