Cornerstone Cellars is hitting on all cylinders these days. The winery and team continues to impress with their perennially outstanding wines along with the many new wines they are adding to their portfolio. I don’t know what I have done to benefit from their dedication and hard work but they continue to bless me with media samples of their outstanding wines and I am truly thankful. This article is particular exciting because I am sharing with you two wines that are new to the Cornerstone Cellars portfolio AND I am sharing them with you now so you can adjust your wine budget and mark your calendar because you want to purchase these wines once they are released this fall you just don’t know it yet.
In the creation and upcoming release of these two new wines, Cornerstone Cellars is staying true to their motto and wine making philosophy:
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.
And now (drum roll please) two soon to be released new wines from Cornerstone Cellars:
Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Napa Valley Merlot, Oakville Station Vineyard, White Label: This wine was crafted of 100% Merlot and poured a deep garnet with inky violet highlights into the glass. It opened with alluring aromas of red and black fruits, spice, chocolate and licorice. Those flavors followed through on the palate with cherries, black raspberries, plums and cranberries, along with round spice notes, cassis, black pepper, touch of leather and a hint of savory herbs. This wine was smooth as silk with round acidity and rich, integrated tannins. Unlike Miles I will drink Merlot, but…it better be good. Friends, this Merlot is outstanding! And please keep in mind this is a 2012; imagine what proper cellaring will do to this already dazzling wine. SRP $75
According to Cornerstone Cellars “the Merlot made [them] do it!” They had no intention of crafting a single vineyard Merlot. Cornerstone decided to increase the Merlot they were harvesting to blend with their Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. However, the Merlot had other plans. After multiple barrel tastings the Cornerstone team said, “Damn; these Merlots are too good not to bottle some and let them stand on their own merit.” Well the inaugural Oakville Station Vineyard 2012 Merlot STANDS Tall! Please note; Cornerstone Cellars produced only 97 cases of this Merlot so note the fall release date and don’t delay in placing your order.
I feel like I have been eating a bit too much red meat lately. Therefore, I sought a meal to pair with the Oakville Station Merlot that would hold up to this full body, gorgeous Merlot but was not red meat. I found the perfect dish in Cooking Light Magazine’s January/February issue where they offered 25 ways to prepare chicken. I paired the Oakville Station Merlot with Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce with orzo pasta. The recipe was delicious and truly paired seamlessly with the Merlot. The ingredients, including shallots, fresh rosemary, chopped pancetta, sherry and artichoke hearts, created a delicious and rich brown sauce that blended beautifully with the rich, round flavors of the Merlot.
Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael’s Cuvée: This wine was a very special blend; crafted of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot, and selected from the following vineyards: 57% Oakville Station Vineyard (To Kalon), 28% Kairos Vineyard in Oak Knoll and 9% Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain. This wine poured a deep ruby with violet highlights into the glass and opened with rich aromas of juicy red and blue fruit marmalades, spice, licorice, leather, chocolate and a hint of vanilla. On the palate this wine dazzled with flavors of black cherries, blackberries, raspberries and blue berries, along with spice, cassis, cedar cigar box, leather and toasted hazelnuts. It was velvety smooth with round, pleasing acidity and ripe tannins. This full body wine had a rich, mouth-coating feel with a lingering, dry finish. It was also outstanding! Once it was gone I immediately wish I had more to enjoy. Again, proper cellaring will only improve this truly delicious wine. Only 250 cases produced. SRP $75
Michael’s Cuvée as described by Cornerstone Cellars: As beﬁtting the ﬁrst release of such an important wine, the 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael’s Cuvée is a true statement wine. Combining some exceptional vineyards with an extraordinary vintage we have crafted a memorable wine that will evolve for many years to come. A selection from our ﬁnest vineyards and varieties, Michael’s Cuvée is a unique expression of the best of each vintage brought together in a new and distinctive harmony. Such an important wine could not have just any name and so we chose a name deeply and emotionally tied to the entire history of Cornerstone Cellars. Michael’s Cuvée is named for founder Dr. Michael Dragutsky, whose spirit and passion have fueled Cornerstone Cellars since our founding in 1991.
My husband had been out of town for a few days. I told him upon his return I was going to open the Cornerstone Cellars Michael’s Cuvee. He said his mouth was watering for the “Mario Batali Babbo Steaks” I made for the article “The Beauty of Bordeaux.” (I told you those steaks were good!) I knew those steaks would pair perfectly with Michael’s Cuvee! Alongside the Babbo filets I made Cooking Light’s “Grilled and Dilled Corn on the Cob” (without the dill) and Cooking Light’s “Pesto Potato Salad.” For dessert I reduced a bottle of chocolate balsamic vinegar my husband gave me a few months ago to a syrup and drizzled it over fresh strawberries topped with fresh whipped cream. The dinner was out of this world good! The pepper and mushroom coating of the steaks was amazing with Michael’s Cuvée the potatoes and corn were a delicious accompaniment and the chocolate balsamic vinegar reduction was to the moon with the wine!
Now that you know you want these wines they will be released in September, cost $75 each and only available through Cornerstone Cellars, but you will have to get in line behind me because I have already ordered mine!
My Song Selection: These are rock star wines that need a rock n’ roll song. So here is one of my favorites. Turn it up, dance and sing. That is what these two wines taste like to me!
Get your own bottles of Cornerstone Cellars 2012 Napa Valley Merlot, Oakville Station Vineyard, White Label and 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael’s Cuvée and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!