Tasting at Cornerstone


The final tasting of a long (though not long enough) trip to Napa and Sonoma. I am always sad to leave and often long to move, but alas, I am wed to Virginia until I decide it’s a good idea to sit for another bar. That’s sit for, not at a bar folks! Our stop at Cornerstone was long planned. On each previous visit I’d missed Craig Camp for one reason or another, but I was bound and determined to get there this time! Unbeknownst to me, word of an impending gathering spread and we were joined by Lisa, Andrew, and Amy and Joe!

Cornerstone's new winemaker

The last day was to be the day of Cabernet Sauvignon with Hall, Corison, and Cornerstone rounding out our planned tastings for the day. I was eager to see Cornerstone’s new digs after hearing Craig talk them up for some time. The new tasting room in Yountville is sleek, modern, and pretty darn cool. Pretty soon, if it isn’t already, they were going to be joined by some wine related goods stores in the same space. At Cornerstone, we met with the new wine maker who at the time was only with Cornerstone for 1 week! He had previously worked with Havens Wine Cellar for 8 years.  We tasted through barrel samples of Cornerstone’s new line, Stepping Stone, as well as the Cornerstone wines. Be on the lookout for full reviews of some of these wine in the near future!

Craig does his thing.

2007 Stepping Stone Grenache: Lake County. $20. Spicy, red fruit, banana, red berries, milk chocolate, bright red fruit, white pepper, smooth fruit.

2007 Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc: $25. Spice, dark, strawberry, earth, dirt, raspberry, pepper, tannins, chocolate, nice structure.

2008 Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: Pomegranate, black cherry, anise, blackberry, floral, dried roses, espresso on the finish, coffee, tannic, milk chocolate, a baby wine!

Lisa does her thing.

2008 Cornerstone Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon: Anise, oak, herbs, black cherry, black fruit, blackberry, chewy, tannic, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, red fruit edges, coffee, brown sugar. Also a baby.

2008 Stepping Stone Sauvignon Blanc: $18. Tropical notes, grapefruit, nice round mouthfeel, orange zest, peach, crisp, clean fruit, melon.

Beautiful heirloom tomato salad.

1997 Cornerstone Howell Mountain Beatty Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon: Violets, roses, black currants, raspberry, blackberry, dried flowers, herbs, chocolate, coffee.

1992 Cornerstone Howell Mountain Beatty Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon: Funk that blows off, pepper, peppers, red fruit, raspberries, currants, tannic.

Joe got a bone marrow appetizer!

2001 Cornerstone Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon: Blackberry, pepper, perfume, chocolate, caramel, red fruit, berries, cherries, dried roses, red plums.

The last 3 were consumed over the course of a fantastic meal that included my very first oysters! All in all, I had a great time tasting through Cornerstone’s old and new wines, and I think the Stepping Stone line is going to be great. I retasted the Cabernet Franc last week, so look for that review soon!

Amy and I eat oysters!