2011 Stepping Stone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
California: Napa Valley
It’s no secret that Agent Red loves his Cab Franc. Well, he was as giddy as we’ve ever seen him when he tried today’s Cornerstone Cellars 2011 Stepping Stone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc.
One of the reasons Agent Red and so many others love Cab Franc is that it presents a more subtle and nuanced profile than Cab Sauv. For instance, in many high-end Napa Cab Sauvs, you’ll experience a wall of flavor and chewy tannins, without any secondary components. With Cab Franc though, especially wines like today’s, you get layer after layer of soft, delicate flavors, which make it an ideal choice to pair with a big meal or to sip on its own.
This wine was our 2014 Wine Intrigue Awards winner for Top Cab Franc and we’re blessed to have been granted special access by the winery.
If you haven’t been converted into a Cab Franc lover yet, let today’s wine show you the way. We promise you’ll never go back!
Vinography awarded this special wine a 95 point score. Sommelier Christopher Sawyer and The Drunken Cyclist each awarded it a 94 point score.
95 Points - Vinography Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of crushed hazelnuts, dried flowers, and dusty farm roads. In the mouth, gorgeously bright cherry, tobacco, cocoa powder, and crushed green herbs have perfect balance, and wonderfully silky texture. Poised, and elegant, with excellent acidity, this is a characterful and delicious rendition of Franc from Napa. Outstanding.
94 Points - The Drunken Cyclist Wow. Form the get-go, this was a blockbuster. Rich red fruit, a bit of earth, and tons of depth in the glass. I do not jump over the moon all that much (at least I think), but this is a rock star. If only I could hold this for another half-dozen years.
Great depth of color on this wine: a very dark crimson combines with inky magenta in the center, just inviting you in for a sip.
The way Cab Franc should be made. Cherry and wild strawberry nearly leap from the glass, trailed by spice box, sweet tobacco leaf, dried rosemary, and rose petals.
As inviting on the palate as it is on the nose, with slightly braised dark cherry, raspberry, and strawberry enveloping toasty brown baking spices, dried Provencal herbs, European cherry licorice, sandalwood, and freshly ground black peppercorn.
So soft and silky when compared to a big Cab and shows just why Cab Franc (when done right!) is so special. A beautiful food wine, with racy acidity that excites and tantalizes the front of the palate.
A very traditional, and very delicious, roast leg of lamb, encrusted with loads of garlic, rosemary, and sea salt.
What the Winery Says
- Jeff Keene
- 95 Points - Vinography, 94 Points - Wine Critic Chris Sawyer, 94 Points - The Drunken Cyclist
- Napa Valley
- 89% Cab Franc, 11% Merlot
- 18 months
- 50% new French oak