Palate Press Wine of the Week- 2005 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

A big, jammy wine, but balanced with a good streak of acid and very fine, firm tannins. Most of all, it is still very young, with many years of cellar improvement ahead of it. File this future tasting note away and test me in 10 years- blackberry and plums take a back seat to complex mature flavors of lavender, cigar box, a mix of leafy spices, marjoram, sage, and rosemary, and the meaty, crisp, smoky flavor of the well-done end of a nice prime rib.
article placeholder

2006 Shafer Relentless – Napa Valley

This deeply opaque Syrah blend spent 30 months in very tightly grained new French oak. It is already terrific and has years ahead of it. Tannins are very sweet. Flavors comes in waves, with tremendous depth. Blackberries are the lead dark fruit among several, along with the meaty/smoky flavors of the crisp end of a prime rib, including the rub of leafy spices like sage and rosemary. Excellent, and very highly recommended.
article placeholder

2008 Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay – Napa Valley

This is a well-balanced and luxurious Chardonnay. It is made with 25% in stainless steel and 75% in new medium-toast French Oak. It does not undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine was rich and creamy but clean, with good acids and without the distinct dark toast that seems trendy in Napa Chardonnay. Flavors were several different types of apples, from fresh green apples to slightly baked Pink Ladies, pears, and a touch of citrus. The finish was long.

2009 Cornerstone Cellars Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

The first white wine from Cornerstone Cellars, this single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is the color of pale straw or the delicate liquid of honeysuckle sparkling in the first morning light. Bright and citrusy on the nose, with aromatics of pear, tropical fruits and gooseberry; it’s more Loire Valley Old World than New World pipi du chat. It opens up to a warm pleasant nuttiness. Once in the mouth, there is a luscious creaminess I don't usually associate with Sauvignon Blanc; smooth on the tongue and seductive on the palate, without sacrificing bright citrus, red grapefruit and a zesty acidity. Balanced and sophisticated, the lingering finish offers firm minerality. Read more on Another Wine Blog.
article placeholder

2006 Twomey Cellars Soda Canyon Ranch Merlot

Merlot sometimes gets a very bad rap, but more examples like this would redeem it. Blended with Cabernet Franc, this one reminded me of a good Right Bank Bordeaux. Deep, bright ruby colored, with aromas of blackberry, vanilla and blueberry that carry over onto the palate along with a hint of rhubarb, this is a merlot with some muscle that also highlights this subtle grape. Read more at Another Wine Blog.