Monday, April 29, 2013

2009 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

When visiting the Napa Valley a must drive is one up Highway 29 to soak in the beauty of the vineyards. Either side of the road offers multiple tasting rooms with so many varietals to please your palate. Towns stretching along this route include Napa, Yountville, St Helena, and Calistoga. Whether a farmers market, top rated restaurants, award winning hotels or beautiful art galleries, there is something to please everyone. Today we focus on a cute tasting room that invites you to taste wines and share conversation. Yes I'm talking about Cornerstone Cellars on Washington Street and their 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet is my tonight's tasting (sample received).

Since crushing their first 5 ton of Howell Mountain Cabernet in 1991, the goal has remained the same..."make compelling, exciting wines that speak clearly of the vineyard, variety and vintage from which they are born". Howell Mountain is located in the Vaca Mountains on the northeast side of the Napa Valley overlooking St Helena. Vineyards are planted between 1400 and 2200 feet above sea level. The climate is much cooler than the valley floor with breezes from the Pacific Ocean. The 2009 grapes came from the Ink Grade Vineyard located 1800 feet above sea level. The soil is volcanic tufa which is excellent for drainage. Grapes tend to be small berries with intense flavors.

Beautiful intense fruit on the nose. Blackberry, plum, black raspberry with a bold cinnamon spice and hints of cocoa powder. As the wine opens, toasted oak, dried herbs with dark cherry notes. Love the rich ripe fruit and each swirl enhances the layers treating my nose.

Blackberry with juicy raspberry and plum followed by a splash of blueberry. The spice of cinnamon combined with a little touch of oak and chocolate impresses me. A ton going on in the mouth but when paired with fresh grilled burgers, the wine softened. More raspberry came to the front. I agree this will age nicely and in 5 years this will be even better! Great job Craig and friends.

Visit Yountville for it's great art, restaurants and the tasting room of Cornerstone Cellars. Open 7 days per week 11am to 7pm the staff will wecome you with open arms and wine glasses. Relax, taste and enjoy.


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