Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon go together just about as well as any region and varietal. There are a dizzying number of excellent Cabernets emerging from Napa and it’s often hard to keep track. However one particular producer that has impressed me for awhile now is Cornerstone Cellars. They’ve expanded of late and they’re about much more than Cabernet Sauvignon. Each of their releases is worth a long look; Cabernet however remains their benchmark wine. Today I’ll look at the current release of their Napa Valley Bottling. The Cornerstone Cellars 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made entirely from fruit sourced in Napa. Vineyards in three distinct sections of Napa are utilized. One third each came from Howell Mountain, Oakville, and Southern Napa County. This wins is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The lots from each vineyard were fermented separately. Barrel aging took place over a 21 month period in all French Oak; 75% of the barrels were new. 1,200 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $60.
The deep, dark hue of this Cabernet Sauvignon is immediately apparent when you pour it. Aromas of berry, cherry, leather and a touch of eucalyptus each inform the nose with prominence. The palate is loaded with black, purple and red fruits; blueberry, blackberry, and cherry are quite prominent and accompanied by a bevy of spices such as pepper and clove. Earth, pencil lead and chicory are the main cogs of the lengthy, persistent finish. This wine has relatively firm tannins which yield with some air, as well as solid acidity.
There’s a lot to like about this Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s an intense wine, layered with concentrated fruit flavors, but it still manages to show restraint and excellent proportion. It’s a fine example of what can be achieved with cuvee style offerings in Napa Valley. My recommendation is to lay this wine down for roughly 3 years and to drink it in the 5 after that. If you’re drinking it today, decant it for 90 minutes to get the most out of it. The bottom line is that Cornerstone Cellars continues to turn out vintage after vintage of classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.