Opening Day

2013 Corallina 

Opening Day has come and gone, which means only one thing: it's time for our spring wine releases! These two new releases are all about fun and immediate gratification and should be in your glass right now!

Nothing says spring more than the beautiful coral color of our 2013 Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé. One of our Artist Series wines, Corallina Syrah Rosé is an explosion of pastel colors both inside and outside the bottle. As always, Cornerstone Cellars always does things a bit differently and Corallina Syrah Rosé is no exception. This is what I call a real rosé, not a wine drained off of a red wine tank as a second class citizen, but a classic, authentic rosé. The vineyard, tucked off in a cool section of Oak Knoll, was destined, before the first leaves appeared, to be Corallina Syrah Rosé and farmed to produce rosé each day of the vintage. Picked at the precise moment to capture the brilliant fruit flavors, just three hours gentile skin contact in the press was all that was needed to get that touch of coral color we love. Then the wine was fermented totally dry and aged in mature French Oak barrels for five months to achieve a unique creamy texture on the palate. The 2013 Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé is totally seductive. You will not be able to resist. With only 417 cases produced it is sure soon be only a beautiful pink memory.

Each year Stepping Stone by Cornerstone North Coast Red Rocks! has gotten better and better as we've gotten better and better at making it. Our inspiration has always been the beautiful blends of Southern France from Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence. These wines have a savory complexity mixed with pure charm that is so perfect for the rustic, flavorful country French cooking of those regions. With the release of the 2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone North Coast Red Rocks! I feel we have hit the target. Bright, savory and vivacious, I can't think of a better wine for our own American country cooking, which at this time of year usually means grills, steak, chops, sausages and burgers. With the release of the 2012 Red Rocks! I believe we have crafted a wine with the balance and depth that makes it a true Cornerstone. As always with Rocks!, the blend is our secret and the pleasure is all yours.

Baseball and summer food are back and we've got the perfect wines to go with both!


Making Rosé Like You Mean It

In Tavel they make rosé like they mean it. In Bandol they make rosé like they mean it. In America, not so much. At Cornerstone Cellars we mean it too.

Single vineyard Napa Valley syrah, fermented bone-dry and aged in oak for almost six months is a statement. We're serious about rosé. Serious rosé is not cheap and it's worth every dime. Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé is such a wine. You can buy cheaper pink wines, but if you want flavor, not just color, it costs both of us just a bit more. 

2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé 

2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé 

We confess to being rosé snobs. Corallina Syrah Rosé is a real rosé. That means it's not the leftovers of someone trying to beef up their red wine. In a warm climate like California making rosé by saigneé, or "bleeding" juice out of a red wine fermenter to concentrate that wine, means low-acid, flabby and sweet with those nasty fake watermelon flavors. We're not fans of watermelon candy. 

Corallina Syrah Rosé starts in the vineyard as the first step is selecting a single block of syrah vines destined to become Corallina. Conceived as a rosé from the beginning, every farming choice throughout the year is made with only one goal in mind - rosé worth thinking about. Harvest is timed solely around the complexity of fruit flavors as we don't need to worry about ripening the skin tannins. The beautiful Napa Valley climate provides us with luscious fruit with more than enough color so no other skin contact is necessary than the three hours or so it takes the fruit to be gently pressed. After fermentation Corallina Syrah Rosé rests for five months in mature French oak barrels, where the flavors grow rounder, richer and more complex. 

Corallina Syrah Rosé is lifted, bright and floral, laced with aromatics redolent of fresh wild herb and spices and touches of wild strawberries and white peaches. It is mouthwatering, refreshing and irresistible. Second glasses are unavoidable.

There is so much joy, pleasure and sunshine in Corallina Syrah Rosé that I had to seek out a label that reflected that energy. In "Wine Dance" by artist Janet Ekholm I found just such an image as the brilliant colors and intermingling of subject, landscape and sky into a harmonious whole is the perfect reflection of our vision for Corallina Syrah Rosé.  

I am pleased to present you with our 2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Corallina Napa Valley Syrah Rosé, which tells the story of one year of our lives. It is the full expression of what we seek to share in all of our wines, the essence of vineyard, variety and vintage combining each harvest to create something never to be exactly repeated.