2011 Stepping Stone Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Cabernet Sauvignon •Ink Grade, Beatty Ranch, Garvey Family and Oakville Station Vineyards
California: Napa Valley
Welcome to a special encore presentation of our Wine Spies 2015 Intrigue Awards winner for Operative’s Choice: Top Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon of 2015! Each year we recognize our most popular and sought-after wines from the previous year - while giving our Operatives a chance to secure some of the winning wines for themselves.
Today’s 97 point Cabernet exhibits gorgeously vibrant aromatics of raspberry and blackcurrant, subtle barrel spice and sprinkles of dark chocolate.
Vibrantly balanced acidity and velvety youthful tannins flow seamlessly, enveloping the fruit and growing in volume as the wine gently sails towards a lingering finish with a touch of minerality.
The critics love this wine. Here is a sampling of accolades for today’s wine:
97 points – Chris Sawyer, Sommelier & Wine Critic
94 points - James the Wine Guy
92+ points – International Wine Report
91 points – The Tasting Panel Magazine
Here’s what Chris Sawyer, Sommelier & Wine Critic has to say:
“Over the past decade, there are a growing number of consumers who have started to think that all Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley need to be big, powerful, and brooding. Many of these people are the same ones that don’t talk much at social gatherings because they are too busy chewing on the heavy tannins that many of these monster wines possess. But the truth is the nuances of the special appellations in Napa Valley shine in wines that are more elegant and refined.
The newest case in point is the Cornerstone 2011 Stepping Stone Cabernet Sauvignon, a magnificent wine made with premium fruit grown in the Howell Mountain and Rutherford appellations, and small amount of Merlot (12%) grown in Oakville.
The finished wine features aromas of ripe berries, black currant, leather, dark chocolate, roasted walnut and spice. And, upon the first sip, the lush flavors are bursting with notes of pretty blue fruits, blueberry, cassis, black raspberry, Himalayan blackberry jam, black olive and dried mountain herbs; soft tannins; velvety texture; and a long, elegant finish.
So, instead of being big, powerful and brazen; this seductive wine is best described as soft, balanced, sultry, and sexy.
With food, try this delectable new release with wild mushroom strudel, fresh gnocchi with black truffle, grilled sausage, slow-cooked ribs, lamb sliders, beef wellington with peppercorn sauce, hearty stews, and complex cheeses.” - 97 points - Sommelier & Wine Critic, Chris Sawyer
Crimson edges with an inky opaque core.
Cedar, pencil shavings, cocoa, and black fruits. Serious mountain fruit aromas. Bordeaux-like!
Berries and black plums with an earthy loam and clay-like combo that’s characteristic of Howell Mtn. Densely-packed flavors that are well-tailored and stylish.
Very approachable and balanced in texture and flavors. Classic stuff. Drinks well now, but promising for short to mid-term cellaring too.
Hard to beat with skirt steak and frites, but will also melt right through a perfectly marinated portobello with herbs if meat isn’t on the menu. Not too shabby solo by the fireplace either.
What the Winery Says
- Jeff Keene
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- 88% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 12% Merlot
- Napa Valley
- Ink Grade & Beatty Ranch Vineyards (Howell Mountain)
- Garvey Family Vineyards (Rutherford)
- Oakville Station Vineyards
- 18 months
- 50% new French oak