And dies.  So much for Twitter Taste LIVE right?  Although we didnt’ get to tweet and share our tasting notes in real time, I was very happy to be able to share the Cornerstone Cellars Napa wines with my group of blogger friends anyway.

So there we were, surrounded by friends, sipping on some amazing Cabernet and eating some tasty treats provided by The Winehiker.

We worked backwards from 2005 to 2002, and while we probably could have let these air more, time did not allow.  If i were to taste them again, I would decant them all for at least 2 hours before the first taste, and periodically taste them over 24 hours to give them their full potential.

Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005$65

This is 100% Cab Sav, and comes from three areas of Napa:  Howell Mountain, the western edge of Oakville, and the Southeast corner of Napa Valley.  The blending of these three distinct areas really created something special here.

Wow!  What a big boy.  I immediately smelled dark fruit, cherry and blackberry.  Upon first sip, it was like drinking blackberry cider, with some baking spice to top it off.  This was a full but soft wine, with some earthy spice on the backend.  It’s ready to drink now, and is full and lush with very little noticeable tannin.  What I love about this cab is that it is not overpowering, both of fruit and on oak.  Nicely balanced.

Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2004 – $100

This 2004 Howell Mountain came from a high elevation vineyard, which shows off the complexity of the Howell Mountain District.

I tasted a lot of cocoa powder, followed by soft rich fruit, baking spices and evergreen.  The dark fruit was nicely ripened, and the bits of earth really balanced out the rich fruit.  It’s a big, bold, but soft wine with a great backbone.  I found that the 2004 had more structure than the 05 Napa, and it showed with tons of blackberry and meaty characteristics.  it was a full wine, and one you could chew on.  I found the 05 Napa was fruitier and plusher than this wine, and the Howell Mtn could stand up to a good pice of meat.



The 2004 was definitely my favorite of the night.  It had the power of a classic Napa cab, but was not overwhelming.  At the same time, it had a nice balance of fruit and a good.

Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2002 (Library Release) – $125

This is the Library Reserve selection of the Howell Mountain, and it was very interesting to taste them side by side.  I found it to be a bit lackluster for my taste, with flavors of stewed fruit.  It had a very meaty flavor profile, but was a bit muddy.  I enjoyed all three of these wines, and even enjoyed the 2002 Howell Mountain, but preferred the 2004.

Thanks for another fun event!

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