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!


8 Responses

  1. […] the original post:  Tasting at Cornerstone « Wannabe Wino Wine Blog […]

  2. Havens makes some darn good wines, so I’m sure Cornerstone’s going to deliver big time!

  3. Thanks for the visit Megan. It was a great follow up to The Wine Bloggers Conference and I was glad to be there to watch you eat your first oyster!

  4. You remind me that this gem, so close to me, deserves to be on the short list for all my visits, visitors, recommendations and happy hours. Everyone that works at the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room is so cool, hospitable, knowledgeable …which frankly makes tasting so pleasurable. Gosh darnit, I’m going again this week!

    And what a great crowd we had on this occasion.
    When are you coming back?

  5. I hope so Joe. I’ve really enjoyed their wines thus far, will be interested to see what happens under a new winemaker!

    Thanks Craig! I’ll be sure to come by again on my next trip!

    Lisa-so far I have an August trip planned. Hopefully we’ll make our spring trip too, but we haven’t gotten that far yet!

  6. You have seen what happens under a new winemaker. Jeff and I crafted the new Stepping Stone wines!

  7. OH, thanks Craig. I didn’t realize that, I guess I thought the wines were already in barrel when Jeff got there since we tasted barrel samples and he’d only been with you a week!

  8. Jeff had been working on the wines that became the Stepping Stone 07’s as a consultant. We purchased the various wines from his clients then created our own blends.

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