California, Chardonnay, Cornerstone, Cornerstone Cellars, Gewürztraminer, merlot, napa valley, North Coast, Red Wine Blends, Stepping Stone, Syrah, White Wine Blends, wine, wine reviews, Yountville, Zinfandel
“STICKS AND STONES…”
Cornerstone Cellars is well known in California as a premium producer of top quality wines. Their tasting room is located in beautiful Yountville, CA of Napa Valley in a “corner” unit of a building near the “corner” of Washington St. and Mulberry, a “stones” throw from all of the shopping and eateries. Cornerstone Cellars has produced a line of wines that are a bit more “budget friendly” without giving up any of the quality that Cornerstone is known for. The wines are called Stepping Stone. Among this line of wines are two blends, known as “Rocks!”. Stepping Stone North Coast Rocks! White and Red. They sell for $18 each and simply put…TERRIFIC!
The amazing quality and pricing is not all that these wines are about…but also the uniqueness of the blends themselves. Blending wines can be difficult…but it’s also the winemakers opportunity for creativeness, so I imagine it can be “fun” as well! These two wines are tasty and fun! They are unlike any other blends I’ve tried before.
The Stepping Stone North Coast Rocks! White 2011 blend is a true gem when it comes to blended wine. A blend of chardonnay and gewürztraminer, it’s uniqueness is unmatched. In the glass, it starts off a beautiful color of deep, buttercup yellow with crystal clear clarity. The nose gives you honey and butter that hit you up front, followed by a bit of apple and pear. Some floral notes of lavender appear at the back end. The wine tastes of stone fruits with bright acidity and a slight honey note. An incredible balance of acidity and fruit with a full mouth feel and a nice, fruity long finish. Beautiful summer white! Stepping Stone North Coast Rocks! White is an easy wine to sip on, great for a starter wine before dinner or cocktail party. It would also pair well with food, given it’s acidity and structure. FOUR BOTTLE Rating.
Stepping Stone North Coast Rocks! Red 2010 is amazing for a blended red. Character just starts to describe what is going on in the bottle. This red is a blend of zinfandel, syrah and merlot. Didn’t I say “unique”? You betcha! This wine comes in with a 14+% alcohol level, therefore it’s bold and beautiful at the same time. Amazing color, deep red…almost syrah like, but not as dark. A little light trickles through on the edges. The nose is of cherries and dark berries with hints of vanilla. There’s also a very slight pepper at the end, but it dissipates as the wine opens up. The Stepping Stone Rocks! Red tastes incredible. Cherries and dark berries start off with hints of woodiness. There’s a good amount of acidity with a full body. A bit of pepper and smoke are on the finish and smooth tannins lend to a great, sippable wine! The talent of the winemaker truly shines in this wine, for he has seamlessly melded together these varietals to flow as one. Brilliantly done. Rocks! Red also holds up well to a few days after opening. I had half a bottle left and finished it on the third day…it drank amazingly. Smoother and mellow…but still great fruit structure and flavors. FOUR BOTTLE Rating.
Cornerstone Cellars has outdone themselves in creating these unique, affordable and absolutely amazing wines. Stepping Stone North Coast Rocks! White and Red must be added to your wine tasting adventure of California wines. They are one of the best tasting, $18 bottles of wine I’ve had in a long while. Leave no Stone unturned – Check out Rocks! and other Stepping Stone wines http://www.cornerstonecellars.com
** Samples received courtesy of Cornerstone Cellars, Yountville, CA **