Cornerstone Cellars, that is! The other part of our scheduled day with Thea in Napa was of course to visit our old friend Craig at Cornerstone Cellars. I visited Cornerstone Cellars shortly after they first opened their tasting room in Yountville, but Matt had never been there before. Thea and I had to remedy that! Several things have changed since my last visit, among them, the tasting room is no longer under construction and if you wander about a block down from the tasting room, you find a demonstration vineyard row planted by Cornerstone Cellars just hanging out on the side of the sidewalk in Yountville!
We tasted through everything Cornerstone had available at the time, though the week after our visit they were bottling all the 2010s!
2010 Sauvignon Blanc: grassy, lemon, tart, lemon pith, tropical notes, acidity, lemon grass, peach.
2009 Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc: black cherry, strawberry, raspberry, herbs, mineral streak, nice lean fruit, good acidity, peppery, slight hint of extremely dark chocolate.
2009 Stepping Stone Cabernet Sauvignon: black currants, black fruit, spice, pepper, black cherry, black raspberry, tannins on the finish.
2009 Stepping Stone Syrah: very peppery, black plum, black fruit, charred meat, bacon fat, meat, pepper, spice.
2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: big fruit, raisins, big, bold, jam, dark fruit, in your face.
2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: herbs, spice, lavender, dark chocolate, anise, nice secondary notes, black cherry, chocolate milk, juicy.
2009 The Cornerstone: (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc blend) spice, pepper, chocolate, espresso, herbs, cardamom, nice acidity, cherry, blackberry, black raspberry.
2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: perfumey, violets, spice, pepper, tight, red fruit, raspberry, good acidity, deeper fruit on the palate, fresh spun caramel, strawberry, orange zest, tons of potential in this wine.
I love visiting with Craig. He’s a really great guy. If you haven’t had a chance to meet him, be sure to stop by the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room. They also have a fantastic line up of wine. My top three were the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, and the 2009 The Cornerstone. Though it was hard to pick my favorites!