Cabernet Sauvignon

A New Cabernet for Cornerstone Cellars: Michael's Cuvée

Essentially all wines are cuvée blends to one degree or the other. Unless a wine comes from a single barrel or tank that passed from fermenter to bottle with no additions all wines are are blends. They’re either blends of barrels or vineyards or varieties or all of the above. The important thing is why you make a cuvée. Like so many wine terms, reserve for example, there is no legal restrictions in their use so it is only the integrity of the producer that gives these terms their meaning.

We have the privilege of working with some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley, which means some of the finest vineyards anywhere in the world. They are so exceptional that we have decided to bottle them in small single vineyard lots in order to let their beautiful personalities clearly sing in their own voice. The first of these single vineyard wines will be released this fall.

However, sometimes even the finest singers love to sing with others finding a new harmony and complexity in blending the textures of their voices. It’s the same for winemakers, we can’t help but explore the new layers and personalities that can be created by blending.

It is in this spirit that our Cornerstone Cellars Michael’s Cuvée was born. A selection from our finest vineyards and varieties, Michael’s Cuvée is a unique expression of the best of each vintage brought together in a new and distinctive harmony. Such an important wine could not have just any name and so we chose a name deeply and emotionally tied to the entire history of Cornerstone Cellars. Michael’s Cuvée is named for founder Dr. Michael Dragutsky, whose spirit and passion have fueled Cornerstone Cellars since our founding in 1991.

As befitting the first release of such an important wine, the 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael’s Cuvée is a true statement wine. Combining some exceptional vineyards with an extraordinary vintage we have crafted a memorable wine that will evolve for many years to come. The 2012 Michael’s Cuvée is 91% cabernet sauvignon with 9% merlot. The blend was selected from the Oakville Station Vineyard (To Kalon) 57%, 28% Kairos Vineyard in Oak Knoll and 9% Ink Grade Vineyard on Howell Mountain. Less than 250 cases were produced.

The 2012 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Michael's Cuvée is a classic, powerful, but elegantly structured Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Deeply colored with rich, cassis laden aromatics, it is youthful and concentrated at this point and will develop even more complexity and elegance as it ages over the next decade or more. While voluptuous and richly textured it is still bright and fresh with a long, smooth finish.

#Cabernet Day is Every Day in the Napa Valley

2010 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 

Cabernet Day is literally every day at Cornerstone Cellars in the Napa Valley. There is not a day spent when we are not farming, harvesting, making, blending or sharing Cabernet Sauvignon. There is good reason for this, the Napa Valley is a perfect place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. Our combination of a long, warm growing season with cool nights and a wide-range of ideal soil types gives birth to some of the greatest Cabernets made anywhere.

We have honed our vineyard selection to razor sharpness and produce three distinct Cabernet Sauvignon wines from a unique set of exceptional vineyards. We control the farming of each block with attention to the smallest details, which is what it takes to make great Cabernet Sauvignon. Our cabernet selections include:

- Cornerstone Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stepping Stone is selected from vineyards that give a more forward style with great elegance

- Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is our "winemaking" wine as it is a selection blended from our three finest vineyard blocks: Kairos near Oak Knoll, Oakville Station in the To Kalon district and Ink Grade on Howell Mountain.  Regal, rich and complex our Napa Valley selection weaves the distinctive personality of three of Napa's finest vineyards into a dramatic, harmonious whole.

- Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a true vineyard wine coming, as it has since the 2000 vintage, from our Ink Grade block high on the east side of Howell Mountain. Grown on volcanic, white tufa soils and farmed organically for more than a decade this is truly a great vineyard site that produces a classic, age-able mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.

Very soon we will be harvesting our 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been an amazing year so far. Starting with a beautiful warm spring and early flowering, which gave the vines a nice head start. The summer has been lovely with beautiful warm days, cool nights and only one real heat spike. Now we are looking forward to a sunny fall that will allow the grapes to finishing their ripening at the leisurely pace that gives the most flavorful wine grapes. We could not be more optimistic. It’s going to be a very, very exciting harvest.