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2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley

2009 is the inaugural bottling of The Cornerstone, a best barrels blend of Cornerstone Cellars Bordeaux varieties. The intent is to produce a top-quality, age-worthy wine that is also a clear expression of the vintage. Included varieties and their ratios will vary from year to year, as befits the vintage and vineyards.

This vintage is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, coming from the U.C. Davis Oakville Station Vineyard which lies within the much larger To Kalon Vineyard. It was blended with 2.5% each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. After barrel aging and bottling, Cornerstone Cellars held the wine for an additional year to let it mature further.

I have tasted the wine twice, first on the release date and again yesterday. In August the wine was still quite tight coming out of the bottle but blossomed with 30 minutes of air. Now it seems even that amount of decanting isn’t entirely necessary.

2009 The Cornerstone is a powerful yet seductive wine with aromas of sweet dark flowers, black cherry and spice. I rarely use this term to describe wine but sexy is the word that came to mind when I took a sip. It’s the mouthfeel; full-bodied with a wealth of fine, powdery and fine-grained tannins. It would be fun to drink even if it had no flavor. But it does—delicious and long-lasting black cherry, tobacco spice and dark chocolate. Drink now through 2025. Very Highly Recommended.

2009 Cornerstone Cellars “The Cornerstone” Napa Valley
09 the cornerstone
Rating: Very Highly Recommended

Drink: Now through 2025
Release Date: August 2012

Closure: Cork
Production: 89 cases
Retail Price: $125.00

Winemaker: Jeff Keene
Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 2.5% Merlot
Origin: Oakville Station, Oakville AVA (Cabernet Sauvignon), Talcott Vineyard, St. Helena AVA (Cabernet Franc), Stewart Ranch, Los Carneros AVA (Merlot)
Aging: 22 months in once and twice used French oak barrels, 12 months of bottle aging
Alcohol: 14.9%

Service Recommendations

Decanting: Maybe 30 minutes
Temperature: 58º - 64º F
Food Pairings: Who needs food?

Interpreting my wine ratings

Disclosures: The FTC has tightened its guidelines with respect to online ads, reviews, blogs, etc. in response to people who are passing paid adds off as personal recommendations or who getting samples of expensive hard goods in exchange for reviews. My lengthy disclosure here is meant to address those guidelines.

The review above reflects my personal experience with the product. It is not a paid ad, nor do I accept ads or compensation for reviews directly from wine producers. Reviews may cover products that I have purchased, received as samples, or tried under other circumstances I consider to be good tasting conditions. Receiving a product as a sample does not obligate me to review it positively (or at all) and I do not consider samples to be compensation or “free wine.” I have purchased plenty of wine over the years and have more of that than I can drink. Samples are opened for review purposes, not added to my personal cellar or taken to restaurants.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy of Cornerstone Cellars.