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Three Wines from Stepping Stone by Cornerstone

2011 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone “Corallina” Syrah Rosé Napa Valley

 Unlike many rosé wines, which are made by bleeding off some juice from grapes picked for red wine, Cornerstone harvested Syrah grapes (early) just for this wine. The result is a rosé that is paler in color, higher in acidity and lower in alcohol and/or residual sugar than many. It is not a soft wine, boldly fruity nor the least bit sweet. That's just fine by me.

It is a pretty shade of light pink in the glass. Its aromas of tart strawberry, orange zest, vanilla and baking spice reminded me of home-made strawberry cake made with real strawberries. In the mouth there’s medium to medium+ body with brisk, cleansing acidity. Flavors include tart strawberry, blood orange and vanilla with hints of grass and minerality. The finish is lengthy.

The Corallina Rosé is a clean, refreshing rosé well-suited to summer fare. It is, if you’ll pardon the pun, comfortable in it’s own skin — not trying to deliver red wine body and impact. I find that very appealing. Recommended+

2011 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone “Corallina” Syrah Rosé Napa Valley
Rating: Recommended+
Drink: Now through 2014
Bottling Date: March, 2012
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $20.00

Winemaker: Jeff Keene
Blend: 100% Syrah
Origin: Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
Winemaking: Picked for rosé (not bled from juice intended for red wine), cool stainless steel fermentation
Aging: 5 months in used French oak barrels
Alcohol: 14.1%

2009 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cabernet Franc Napa Valley

ss09cf_small2

 Cabernet Franc can be an excellent food wine. Lighter in body and softer than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc accompanies a meal rather than putting it in a headlock. At the same time, Cabernet Franc can be more interesting than typical Merlot.

This release from Stepping Stone by Cornerstone is medium+ ruby with aromas of fall leaves, dusty red cherry, cocoa, roasted herb, tobacco and oak. The medium+ body features a creamy attack followed by fine, powdery tannins (medium+) . It tastes of red cherry, oak, vanilla, brown spice and dry leaves.

The 2009 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cabernet Franc is an elegant, well-tailored wine. Flavors are attractive and layered. In the end though, it’s the feel of it that really sets it apart; soft yet structured like fine Italian super 200 wool. Highly Recommended.

2009 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cabernet Franc Napa Valley
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2016
Bottling Date: May, 2011
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $35.00

Winemaker: Jeff Keene
Blend: 95% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot
Origin: Napa Valley (Carneros and Oakville)
Fermentation:
Aging: 18 months in used French oak barrels
Alcohol: 14.25%

2009 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Medium+ ruby in color. The nose is a mixture of fruit and forest: dried dark berries, prune, drying leaves, fallen branches, and a scattering of mint. The palate is medium+ to full-bodied with medium+ chalky tannins and flavors of blackberry and black currant, chocolate and dry wood. This Cabernet Sauvignon offers moderate cellaring potential but is perfectly drinkable now. Recommended.

2009 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Rating:
Drink: Now through 2017
Bottling Date: May, 2011
Closure: Cork
Production:
Retail Price: $35.00

Winemaker: Jeff Keene
Blend: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot
Origin: Napa Valley (Cabernet from Oakville and Howell Mountain, Merlot from Carneros)
Fermentation:
Aging: 18 months in used French oak barrels
Alcohol: 14.5%

 

The wines above were provided by the winery for review.

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.