The Cornerstone has gradually changed its flavor over the years as Michael worked to rejuvenate the ancient vines. Over the last few vintages, the wine has moved away from the pretty roses-and berries Cotes-du-Rhone style, and developed into more of a Spanish-style Grenache, big, complex and intense. On the nose, it displays intriguing notes of leather, Grandma's cedar spice box and cool black tea, complemented by subtle, background oak from its months in seasoned French barrels.
"From 60-year-old vines, the 2004 Grenache Cornerstone (which was aged in old French wood) reveals plenty of power and potency (16% alcohol), yet comes across as elegant, restrained, and almost feminine. Its deep ruby color is followed by a sweet perfume of black cherries, loamy soils, crushed pepper, and a southern Rhone Valley floral-like character. With superb purity, texture, and definition..."
The Wine Advocate