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Franc-ly Speaking

2010 Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc, Stepping Stone 

Franc-ly speaking Cabernet Franc is a pain in the butt. Hard to grow and tough to ripen just right. Underripe gives you veggie stew and too ripe gives you concentrate of Welch's. So why are we spending so much time on Cabernet Franc?

The truth of the matter is when you get cabernet franc just right it is nothing short of incredible. It is worth the effort. Its unique blend of herbs and spices blend with the rich fruit flavors to create one of the greatest of all wines for food. The nuances of cabernet franc mirror the flavors in many dishes in a way no other variety can. If you need proof just try our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc with lamb roasted with herbs. 

It's tough to grow as while it's a late ripener, just to be difficult, cabernet franc likes cooler sites that allow it to ripen slowly, which allows it to develop its full range of flavors. Too hot and it just pounds out sugar with no complex flavors, too cool and most American's will wrinkle their noses from the pungent weedy flavors and aromatics. Cabernet franc needs a sweet spot and we've found a few that are just right.

Many cooler sites in the Napa Valley are just perfect for cabernet franc. The cooler southern AVA's like Carneros, Oak Knoll and Coombsville are uniquely suited to the variety as well as cooler micro-climates in Oakville and St. Helena. From these sites we craft our Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc.

In all of our wines we love (and strive for) what we call "lift". That means to us a brightness in aromatics and flavors the seems to rise in complexity as you savor them. We are not referring to the intensity or power increasing as we treasure elegance and balance in our wines, but to an ever expanding range of sensations that draw your palate and nose back for more-and-more. We want our wines to be kaleidoscopes of flavors and aromas.

That's what you have with our 2010 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. The brilliant ruby color pleases the eye, while the lifted aromatics of mint, lavender and rosemary are layered over the bright cassis flavors of this young wine. On the plate the beautiful round tannins smoothly carry the rich flavors into the long mouthwatering finish. This combination of flavors and textures are what make this wine so uniquely appealing and draws you back for the next sip.