Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon
Limited production Cabernet Sauvignon is made with a gentle touch, more reminiscent of pinot noir winemaking than traditional cabernet techniques. This attention to detail produces wines with a fine tannin structure that is more approachable when the wine is young, but still permits long, slow aging of this wine, which brings out every nuance of their complexity. We recommend four to five years of aging to bring out everything these wines have to offer. However, if you don’t have proper storage conditions (consistently cool and dark with little variation) or just can’t resist their youthful charms, we suggest decanting them one to two hours before serving. The recommended serving temperature is 68.
The Howell Mountain is intense and powerful, as you would expect from fruit grown on rugged Howell Mountain. It is a terroir or vineyard wine as it reflects the personality of an individual vineyard.
It can not be overstated that great wine is made in the vineyard. That’s why you’re just as likely to find Cornerstone Cellars' winemaker Jeff Keene, and consulting winemaker Peter Franus, among the vines as much as among the barrels. In each vineyard they work with master viticulturists, each with decades (even generations) of Napa Valley experience, to produce the finest fruit possible every vintage. It is their goal to bring the pure character of each vineyard to life in their wines. Two thirds of the fruit harvested is from organically certified vineyards. This is not only out of a commitment to the environment, but because they believe it ultimately produces better grapes. Harvesting is done by hand on a block-by-block basis, and a harvest can stretch out over two months as each block ripens at its own pace. Each year their wines reflect the character of the vintage and so every year makes a one-of-a-kind wine, never to be exactly repeated.
Rated: 89-92 by Stephen Tanzer, May/Jun 09
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Ruby-red. Less chocolatey and more aromatic on the nose, with dark berries and a rather exotic violet perfume dominating today. Supple and young; distinctly juicier and less muscular than the 2006. Here the tannins are more suave, and the finish more aromatic and vibrant. Should make a refined example of Howell Mountain cabernet and offer considerable early appeal.