+ Add Critic Score

Submit a Critic Score

Score:

Name of Critic:

Close

Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

Awards and Accolades: <strong>90 Points</strong> - <em>Wine Enthusiast</em><br/><br/> <strong>Silver Medal</strong> - <em>San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition</em><br/><br/> About This Wine: With perfectly balanced fragrant aromatics, flavors and well-structured tannins, this wine also has the right amount of satisfying acidity and brightness which makes it a ready companion to most meals. Our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone 2009 Cabernet Franc shows a fine balance and elegance which maybe enjoyed now, but will also benefit and become more delicious with some age.<br/><br/> Cabernet Franc; a cantankerous variety; often blended with other Bordeaux reds is a late ripener, preferring cooler climates which makes ripening this variety to perfection a challenge. However, find the right locations and something very special emerges.<br/><br/> Sourced from 2 outstanding vineyard sites, each adding a unique personality to the the wine, our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone 2009 Cabernet Franc is a beautiful example of this variety and showcases how spectacular Cabernet Franc can be from the Napa Valley.<br/><br/> About The Winery: 1991 was the first vintage of Cornerstone Cellars - and a head-first plunge into the wonderful world of long-distance wine production for Memphis physicians, Michael Dragutsky and David Sloas.<br/><br/> Back in the fall of 1991, Sloas was visiting the Napa Valley. He and Napa wine merchant Bruce Scotland went up to see Randy Dunn on Howell Mountain, taste his wines and watch harvest. As the trailers unloaded, Dunn told them he had five tons more Cabernet coming in than he could manage at his place. Would Sloas want to buy it? He called back to Dragutsky in Memphis for a reality check. They agreed they had both lost their minds - and purchased the overage of 4.8 tons of premium Howell Mountain Cabernet. They were in the wine business.<br/><br/> Taken somewhat by surprise by their overwhelming reception, Dragutsky and Sloas decided that their love of good wine would prevail over all else. "From the beginning our philosophy was to use the best grapes, the best barrels, the best facilities," says CFO and Vice President, Dragutsky. "Making the best wine we can bottle is the real bottom line for us. It's thrilling to be out to a fine meal with friends, order our wine and see the great response to our Cornerstone wines."<br/><br/> From the first, the wines have been extremely well received in the press, getting ratings in the mid-nineties in the Wine Spectator and excellent reviews in The Wine Advocate and Connoisseurs' Guide.<br/><br/> Cornerstone Cellars was rated one of eight "World Class" Cabernet Sauvignon producers (along with Dunn Howell Mountain, Dunn Napa Valley, La Jota Anniversary, Mondavi Reserve, Phelps Insignia, Ridge Monte Bello, and Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23) in The Connoisseurs' Handbook of the Wines of California and the Pacific Northwest, 4th Edition.<br/><br/> 1991 was a great vintage year and Cornerstone Cellars found a cult niche: powerful Howell Mountain Cabernets - big, ripe and muscular with focused fruit of currant, cherry and plum - and a miniscule production of 400 cases. This is some of the latest Cabernet in the valley to ripen due to the lean hillside soils and the elevation of the vineyards on Howell Mountain (the vineyard sources are from 1700 to 2400 feet). The yield averages two to two-and-a-half tons per acre. While the temperatures are moderate, the daily pattern is reversed: on a hot day it is warmer in the morning since the vineyard is above the fog on the valley floor, and it is cooler later in the day which makes the flavors more concentrated. The later ripening allows "hang time" when the intensity of flavor develops and the tannins soften.<br/><br/> In 1997, Dragutsky and Sloas bought into a 12 acre vineyard on Liparita Road which had been the primary fruit source since the first vintage. The site is at approximately 1700 feet with red mountain clay soil typical of this part of Howell Mountain. In 2002 the vineyard was sold to next door neighbor and vintner, Mark Neal. A gradual replant is underway with all aspects of the project focused on putting the best wine possible in the bottle. Long term contracts with Neal ensure continuity of fruit source for many years to come.<br/><br/> About The Team <strong>A New Era at Cornerstone</strong> - I'm pleased to announce that, for the first time in many years, Cornerstone Cellars has a full-time winemaker. With our plans for growth and ever higher quality goals, I felt a consulting winemaker would not be able to give us the focus and time required to achieve our goals. Our new winemaker, Jeff Keene, is a veteran winemaker with more than a decade of Napa Valley experience. A native of New Zealand, Jeff was a research chemist, but returned to university in New Zealand to get a degree in enology. A former associate winemaker with Peter Franus and head winemaker at Havens Wine Cellars, Jeff will bring an elegant touch to the wines of Cornerstone Cellars. Also joining our winemaking team is star consulting enologist Peter Franus, whose more than thirty years of Napa Valley winegrowing and winemaking will help achieve our goal of taking our Cornerstone wines to the pinnacle of Napa Valley wines.<br/><br/> <strong>A New Era with New Wines</strong> - This September saw the release of our new Stepping Stone wines: 2008 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($20), 2007 Carneros Cabernet Franc ($30) and 2007 Red Hills-Lake County Grenache ($20) all of which were produced by our new winemaking team. Our mission with Stepping Stone is to craft wines of exceptional value and we have achieved that goal in our new releases. The Sauvignon Blanc is steely and crisp, the Cabernet Franc is fragrant and elegant and the Grenache is powerful and peppery. Production of all of these wines was limited and I expect them to sell out before the end of the year.<br/><br/> We've just harvested our first Cornerstone Cellars white wine, a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from an exceptional block in the St. Helena AVA. This new wine will be released next Spring and will help introduce more consumers to our wines. Our traditional Cabernet Sauvignon portfolio remains unchanged, except that our 2008 Napa will now have some Cabernet Franc in the blend from our Casanova Vineyard on the rocky hills at the eastern edge of the Oakville AVA. With this vintage we are taking all the fruit from this tiny, but exciting vineyard. Our flagship wine, Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, will continue to come from the Ink Grade Vineyard and is made with 100% organically certified grapes, as it has been since 2004. The current releases are 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2005 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.<br/><br/> Our new tasting room and hospitality center in Yountville is now open and we invite you to visit us when you are in Napa.<br/><br/> Technical Analysis: <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.25%<br/><br/> <strong>Varietals:</strong> 95% Cabernet Franc, Truchard Vineyard, Carneros and Cassanova Vineyard, Oakville. 5% Merlot Stewart Ranch Vineyard, Carneros.<br/><br/> <strong>pH:</strong> 3.70<br/><br/> <strong>T.A.:</strong> 0.550 g/100mL<br/><br/> <strong>Year:</strong> 2009<br/><br/> <strong>Production:</strong> 755 Cases<br/><br/>

Region: USA

Vintages


+ Vintage
Color: Red
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
  • + My Wines

    My Wines

    Save in My Wines

    Add to Wishlist

    My Cellar

  • List It
  • Add Review
0 5 0.5
Average Rating Rate It Add
Cornerstone Cellars:
vineyard, vintage, & variety OUR THIRD DECADE OF EXCELLENCE EXCELLENCE IS NOT ENOUGH. We have to go beyond and establish an ever higher goal each vintage. Our mission is to craft wines that are not only exceptional, but memorable. Each of our wines expresses the essence of vineyard, variety and vintage, which combine each harvest to create something never to be exactly repeated.

Awards and Accolades: <strong>90 Points</strong> - <em>Wine Enthusiast</em><br/><br/> <strong>Silver Medal</strong> - <em>San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition</em><br/><br/> About This Wine: With perfectly balanced fragrant aromatics, flavors and well-structured tannins, this wine also has the right amount of satisfying acidity and brightness which makes it a ready companion to most meals. Our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone 2009 Cabernet Franc shows a fine balance and elegance which maybe enjoyed now, but will also benefit and become more delicious with some age.<br/><br/> Cabernet Franc; a cantankerous variety; often blended with other Bordeaux reds is a late ripener, preferring cooler climates which makes ripening this variety to perfection a challenge. However, find the right locations and something very special emerges.<br/><br/> Sourced from 2 outstanding vineyard sites, each adding a unique personality to the the wine, our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone 2009 Cabernet Franc is a beautiful example of this variety and showcases how spectacular Cabernet Franc can be from the Napa Valley.<br/><br/> About The Winery: 1991 was the first vintage of Cornerstone Cellars - and a head-first plunge into the wonderful world of long-distance wine production for Memphis physicians, Michael Dragutsky and David Sloas.<br/><br/> Back in the fall of 1991, Sloas was visiting the Napa Valley. He and Napa wine merchant Bruce Scotland went up to see Randy Dunn on Howell Mountain, taste his wines and watch harvest. As the trailers unloaded, Dunn told them he had five tons more Cabernet coming in than he could manage at his place. Would Sloas want to buy it? He called back to Dragutsky in Memphis for a reality check. They agreed they had both lost their minds - and purchased the overage of 4.8 tons of premium Howell Mountain Cabernet. They were in the wine business.<br/><br/> Taken somewhat by surprise by their overwhelming reception, Dragutsky and Sloas decided that their love of good wine would prevail over all else. "From the beginning our philosophy was to use the best grapes, the best barrels, the best facilities," says CFO and Vice President, Dragutsky. "Making the best wine we can bottle is the real bottom line for us. It's thrilling to be out to a fine meal with friends, order our wine and see the great response to our Cornerstone wines."<br/><br/> From the first, the wines have been extremely well received in the press, getting ratings in the mid-nineties in the Wine Spectator and excellent reviews in The Wine Advocate and Connoisseurs' Guide.<br/><br/> Cornerstone Cellars was rated one of eight "World Class" Cabernet Sauvignon producers (along with Dunn Howell Mountain, Dunn Napa Valley, La Jota Anniversary, Mondavi Reserve, Phelps Insignia, Ridge Monte Bello, and Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23) in The Connoisseurs' Handbook of the Wines of California and the Pacific Northwest, 4th Edition.<br/><br/> 1991 was a great vintage year and Cornerstone Cellars found a cult niche: powerful Howell Mountain Cabernets - big, ripe and muscular with focused fruit of currant, cherry and plum - and a miniscule production of 400 cases. This is some of the latest Cabernet in the valley to ripen due to the lean hillside soils and the elevation of the vineyards on Howell Mountain (the vineyard sources are from 1700 to 2400 feet). The yield averages two to two-and-a-half tons per acre. While the temperatures are moderate, the daily pattern is reversed: on a hot day it is warmer in the morning since the vineyard is above the fog on the valley floor, and it is cooler later in the day which makes the flavors more concentrated. The later ripening allows "hang time" when the intensity of flavor develops and the tannins soften.<br/><br/> In 1997, Dragutsky and Sloas bought into a 12 acre vineyard on Liparita Road which had been the primary fruit source since the first vintage. The site is at approximately 1700 feet with red mountain clay soil typical of this part of Howell Mountain. In 2002 the vineyard was sold to next door neighbor and vintner, Mark Neal. A gradual replant is underway with all aspects of the project focused on putting the best wine possible in the bottle. Long term contracts with Neal ensure continuity of fruit source for many years to come.<br/><br/> About The Team <strong>A New Era at Cornerstone</strong> - I'm pleased to announce that, for the first time in many years, Cornerstone Cellars has a full-time winemaker. With our plans for growth and ever higher quality goals, I felt a consulting winemaker would not be able to give us the focus and time required to achieve our goals. Our new winemaker, Jeff Keene, is a veteran winemaker with more than a decade of Napa Valley experience. A native of New Zealand, Jeff was a research chemist, but returned to university in New Zealand to get a degree in enology. A former associate winemaker with Peter Franus and head winemaker at Havens Wine Cellars, Jeff will bring an elegant touch to the wines of Cornerstone Cellars. Also joining our winemaking team is star consulting enologist Peter Franus, whose more than thirty years of Napa Valley winegrowing and winemaking will help achieve our goal of taking our Cornerstone wines to the pinnacle of Napa Valley wines.<br/><br/> <strong>A New Era with New Wines</strong> - This September saw the release of our new Stepping Stone wines: 2008 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($20), 2007 Carneros Cabernet Franc ($30) and 2007 Red Hills-Lake County Grenache ($20) all of which were produced by our new winemaking team. Our mission with Stepping Stone is to craft wines of exceptional value and we have achieved that goal in our new releases. The Sauvignon Blanc is steely and crisp, the Cabernet Franc is fragrant and elegant and the Grenache is powerful and peppery. Production of all of these wines was limited and I expect them to sell out before the end of the year.<br/><br/> We've just harvested our first Cornerstone Cellars white wine, a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from an exceptional block in the St. Helena AVA. This new wine will be released next Spring and will help introduce more consumers to our wines. Our traditional Cabernet Sauvignon portfolio remains unchanged, except that our 2008 Napa will now have some Cabernet Franc in the blend from our Casanova Vineyard on the rocky hills at the eastern edge of the Oakville AVA. With this vintage we are taking all the fruit from this tiny, but exciting vineyard. Our flagship wine, Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, will continue to come from the Ink Grade Vineyard and is made with 100% organically certified grapes, as it has been since 2004. The current releases are 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2005 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.<br/><br/> Our new tasting room and hospitality center in Yountville is now open and we invite you to visit us when you are in Napa.<br/><br/> Technical Analysis: <strong>Alcohol:</strong> 14.25%<br/><br/> <strong>Varietals:</strong> 95% Cabernet Franc, Truchard Vineyard, Carneros and Cassanova Vineyard, Oakville. 5% Merlot Stewart Ranch Vineyard, Carneros.<br/><br/> <strong>pH:</strong> 3.70<br/><br/> <strong>T.A.:</strong> 0.550 g/100mL<br/><br/> <strong>Year:</strong> 2009<br/><br/> <strong>Production:</strong> 755 Cases<br/><br/>

Photos

+ Add Image

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Cabernet Franc Top Lists







Snooth Media Network