Stonestreet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
As a blend of their best Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard sites, the estate bottling is one of the most compelling illustrations of the Stonestreet Mountain. This starts our with savory aromas of blackberry, dark plum, blood orange, Star Anise, and black cherry. As the wine opens, deep fruit flavors of blackberry cobbler, dried cherry, pomegranate, cassis, and milk chocolate begin to show. The palate is rich and inviting with framed tannins, incredible length and plenty of concentration.
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Moving to the reds, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19 months in 37% new French oak) offers impressive notes of tobacco leaf, damp earth, cedar, and blackcurrants. It’s look-alike for a top Bordeaux, has nicely integrated acidity, plenty of tannin, and is going to keep for over a decade.
Made entirely varietal from a vineyard scaling from 400 to 2,400-feetelevation, this red is balanced and elegant in style. Peppercorn, cedar and celery seed accent a mineral driven intensity nuanced in black olive, currant and clove.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate bursts from the glass with vivacious cassis, black cherry preserves and wild blueberries with hints of chocolate box, dried mint and black loam plus a waft of tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, the palate gives a firm frame of lively freshness and grainy tannins supporting the bright, juicy fruit, finishing long with a minty lift. Elegantly played at just 14.1% alcohol. 12,115 cases were made.
Jess Stonestreet Jackson purchased the Gauer Ranch in the 1990s, renaming it the Alexander Mountain Estate. It’s 5,100 acres on the western flank of Mayacamas with 900 planted to vines, the parcels ranging in altitude from 400 up to 2,400 feet. Lisa Valtenbergs made this 2016 cabernet from a range of parcels and elevations. It’s fragrant with delicate scents of red cherries, floral notes of strawberries and a dark core of pure cabernet sauvignon flavor: That black-currant fruit saturates a relatively light-bodied red (at least relative to some of the bigger styles of Stonestreet cabernets in the past); its gentle woodland freshness brings an impression of redwood fronds and ferns.
In the autumn of 1989, Jess Jackson acquired the Zellerbach winery and renamed it in honor of his late father, Jess Stonestreet Jackson. Stonestreet quickly garnered international acclaim for their powerful reds and luscious whites.
Today, Stonestreet wines are undergoing a transformation, using fruit from Alexander Mountain Estate and new winemaking techniques. Alexander Mountain Estate, with lean, well-draining soils and cooler temperature, produces fruit with smaller berries and more intense color and flavor. Stonestreet is dedicated to fulfilling the promise of Alexander Valley's exceptional and distinctive vineyards. Traditional, Old World methods of hand harvesting, small barrel lot production, native yeast fermentation and bottling each wine unfiltered brings out the best in specific grape varieties and provides the quality framework for each Stonestreet wine.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.