CORNERSTONE CELLARS Cabernet Sauvignon 'Michael's Cuvée' 2012
The 2012 Michael's Cuvée is absolutely delicious, instantly opens with seductive aromas of black cherries and dark currants woven together with sweet spices, violets, graphite and hints of chocolate shavings which soar from the glass. On the palate this is full-bodied, opulent and layered with excellent length, leaving behind delicious flavors of dark fruits, sweet spices and a cocoa edge. Today, this is already showing some very appealing characteristics, however it will need a couple more years of bottle age for everything to settle in. The 2012 Michael’s Cuvée is 91% cabernet sauvignon with 9% merlot. The blend was selected from the Oakville Station Vineyard (To Kalon) 57%, 28% Kairos Vineyard in Oak Knoll and 9% Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Less then 250 cases made. (Best 2018-2025) - July, 2015 (JD)
My name is Stephanie Wolden. As a native Californian, I grew up along the coastlines of Southern California and received my B.A. from Cal State Long Beach. After a decade of working in cubicles, I became restless and was feeling the pull of adventure. So, I sold my belongings and headed off to Florence, Italy where I taught English as a foreign language and sold Florentine leather in a boutique shop. It was here that I had my “ah-ha moment” with wine. A 1998 Brunello di Montalcino literally changed the course of my life. As my palette and passion for wine developed, I set my sights on Napa for the move back to California. An exciting new career began at Domaine Chandon in 2006 where I worked as an Ambassador of Wine for both Chandon and Newton Vineyard, while gaining a solid foundation in wine education, hospitality and management. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of spending my days at various premier wineries throughout the valley; all of which have led me here, to the tasting room of Cornerstone Cellars. My “spare” time is spent as a travel writer and photographer.
Real Rosé. Not an afterthought, not leftovers, not for fashion and most decidedly not a saignée, Corallina Syrah Rosé is Napa Valley rosé with a purpose. It is a wine made as mindfully as we make any other wine.
While a saignée may be a wonderful idea in the coolest years in the coolest regions like Burgundy and Oregon, it is a very strange concept in a warm region like the Napa Valley. Do you really think it’s a good idea to concentrate Napa Valley wine more than Mother Nature already does? Yes, I know Robert Parker thinks so, but I don’t.
So, Corallina Syrah Rosé is a mindful rosé and we keep these Oak Knoll AVA Crane Vineyard vines in a state of serene rosé-ness throughout the growing season. Each of these syrah grapes are in a state of serenity and inner pinkness from the moment of bud break until, just twelve months later, they become Corallina Syrah Rosé. This is fruit destined to be a rosé all the way from flowering to bottle.
As these syrah grapes arrive at the winery already having achieved enlightenment, it is our job to ensure that when you and Corallina come together that Nirvana is the result. To be sure this is the case we keep our hands off Corallina as much as we can.
Mere hours after harvesting the cool fruit arrives at the winery and immediately goes into the press. This whole cluster pressing is a key part of Corallina’s centered personality. In California saignée is the shady ying to the sunny yang of whole cluster pressed rosé. The whole bunches of grapes that will be Corallina go into the press and over a slow, three hour press run these syrah grapes gradually reveal their pink soul. The juice goes immediately into a stainless steel tank where slowly, very slowly due to the cool temperature, it ferments to complete dryness. Then the new Corallina is racked into mature French Oak barrels for five months of meditation before it fulfills its destiny when the Corallina Wine Dance label finally adorns its bottle - just in time for summer.
Inner wine peace cannot be achieved with mass production so only 500 cases or so of Corallina Syrah Rosé are produced each harvest. This year Mother Nature gave us a Corallina with 13.8% alcohol, TA 0.54 and 3.50 pH - isn’t that riveting. More importantly, she gave us our most delicious Corallina yet and we could not be more grateful and humbled by her gift.
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Black and white normally seem like night and day, but not at Cornerstone Cellars. Here they are just two sides of the same coin. Over the last few vintages we have been evolving towards our winemaking vision. These things take time as you need to work with vineyards over several vintages to truly know them. We are now ready to take the next step with our White Label wines and part of that next step is our Cornerstone Cellars Black Label wines.
Moving forward from the 2013 vintage our White Label wines will be made from an elite set of extraordinary vineyards and will carry those names on their labels. Also, our White Label Wines will expand to include merlot, cabernet franc and syrah single vineyard wines. Our Cornerstone Cellars Black Label wines will be exceptional expressions of the art of blending as we select barrels from our best vineyards and blend them to achieve wines of great harmony, balance and seductive personalities. They will be ready for you to enjoy as soon as we release them, but will improve in the bottle over the next three to five years. Our Black Label wines are what you drink while patiently waiting for our White Label wines to grow up.
I don’t think we could have picked a better vintage than 2012 to introduce our Cornerstone Cellars Black Label wines as it is a classic vintage with great concentration and depth. Our 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Franc, Black Label is our first ever 100% cabernet franc as normally we blend our Bordeaux varieties. While this wine is one hundred percent cabernet franc, it is still a blend. We have combined fruit from three exceptional vineyards for our Black Label Cabernet Franc and each of them add something special: our Oakville Station Vineyard in To Kalon adds depth, power and a velvety texture; the Talcott Vineyard in St. Helena gives structure and richness; the Carrefour Vineyard in Coombsville brings lift, freshness and classic cabernet franc aromatics. Together they create something very, very special.
Equally exciting is our 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Label, which is already racking up 90+ point scores. This blend of 92% cabernet sauvignon, 5.5% merlot and 2.5% cabernet franc created a gentle and harmonious wine exhibiting a fresh, vibrant nose, generously laced with rich red and blackberry fruit and subtle barrel spices with a touch of savory dried herbs to add further nuance and complexity. A youthful, energetic, high-toned palate reveals a deep core of layered berry fruits broadening further to uncover depth and velvety tannins that flow seamlessly, growing in volume. It’s drinking beautifully now and with all its elegance and finesse this enthusiastic wine will grow and evolve and become even more delicious.
- Craig Camp
Thanksgiving is the that wonderful time of year where we gather with our friends and family to enjoy good conversation and laughter while indulging in wonderful food. What often gets overlooked though, is the wine. Like every meal, wine can take your dining experience to the next level and the Thanksgiving meal with its mulitude of flavors can sometimes be daunting to try and pair with wine.
We're here to help. We've gathered delicious Thanksgiving recipes on our Pinterest board that will pair perfectly with our wines. We suggest starting with our Cornerstone Oregon Willamette Valley Chardonnay, or perhaps our Cornerstone Cellars Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé with your appetizers and then move on to one or both of our Cornerstone Oregon Pinot Noirs for the main event. If you're barbecuing or frying a turkey then our Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Franc will pair deliciously with the smokiness of the bird.
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the celebration!
My name is Lynne. I recently joined Cornerstone Cellars to manage the administrative operations on the Direct To Trade side of the business. We moved to Northern California in 1994 and since then the Napa Valley has enticed me. So, after raising my family, I gained administrative experience in various industries including sales, marketing and hospitality. Now I am able to capitalize on those experiences and work at a premiere boutique winery in the heart of the valley. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, entertaining family and friends and watching baseball or football.
My name is Nadia and I moved to Napa in 2004 to pursue a career in culinary arts following my graduation from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After completing my externship at Julia’s Kitchen in Napa I went on to manage the catering department for Dean & Deluca in Saint Helena. In 2006 I decided to follow my dream of traveling and working overseas and went to Australia and New Zealand for three months. It was during this time that my passion for wine, that had been awakened while working with wineries at Dean & Deluca, continued to grow exponentially. Upon return to the US, I followed this passion to Domaine Chandon, eventually working my way up through tasting room management and then onto marketing and communications positions for both Domaine Chandon and Newton Vineyard. After nearly seven years, I left Domaine Chandon and Newton Vineyard and took my career to the next step and joined Cornerstone Cellars in 2013 as the wine club and e-commerce director. I am now the director of consumer sales for Cornerstone Cellars, overseeing the wine club, e-commerce and the tasting room operations.