Wednesday, February 13, 2013

#PNV13 Social Media Crew Reporting: Alex Crown, Cornerstone Cellars

“What’s in a lot? It’s just wine...” I overheard her saying to a friend while I was enjoying a glass of Cabernet Franc. “It’s a bit more complicated than that,” I reply. “Premiere Napa Valley wines are one of a kind, sometimes only sixty bottles exist and then that's it! For a collector and connoisseur, the cellar isn’t complete without a Premiere wine. Rarely do wine shops, wine bars, and restaurants have the opportunity to carry wines as limited as these. If you come across one, you’ve truly found a gem.”

Here are four lots that I’m pretty excited about for #PNV13: Honig Vineyard & Winery, Cornerstone Cellars, Robert Mondavi Winery and Hill Wine Company.

Honig Vineyard & Winery

Honig is releasing their 2011 Westside Trio Cabernet Sauvignon. Good things come in threes - three vineyards and three on the winemaking team. With this wine, we have their three best vineyards from three AVA’s coming together to create a wine that is greater than the sum of its parts. All of the vineyards are west of highway 29. The majority comes from the Campbell Vineyard in Rutherford. Oh yes, there is some Rutherford dust in this glass. Add a splash of Bartolucci from St. Helena and a dash of Rafael from Oak Knoll, and let it mature in 100% new French oak barrels to have a wine that powerful, structured, drinkable while being cellar worthy for decades.
Cornerstone Cellars

Cornerstone Cellars is releasing the 2011 Premiere Cornerstone, a Bordeaux blend heralding from the Oakville Station. The Oakville Station is unique vineyard, 40 acres in size, carved out of the historic To Kalon vineyard in Oakville. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon based blend with some Merlot for a mid palate lift and a bit of Cabernet Franc for increased structure. The Oakville Station vineyard can do no wrong. This wine is rare with only 5 cases produced from this single vineyard site. Twenty-two months in new French oak integrate with the soft tannins resulting in incredible aromatics, a beautiful mouth feel, and a wine that while stunning now, will greatly reward the patient.

Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi is providing a 20 case lot this year - a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Monastery Block within their To Kalon vineyard. Tucked right up against the Mayacamas Mountains in Oakville, this block always makes it into the reserve program at Mondavi.

Hill Wine Company

For Premiere, Hill Wine Company is offering a hillside select blend of Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery's newest property. The clusters and berries were hand sorted until they had the best of the best. Through this minimal intervention, winemaker Phillipe Langner was able to allow the grapes to speak for themselves through the wine, reflecting the special place they came from.

I’ll be there tasting these and many other wines from the 2011 vintage at the Barrel Tasting on Saturday February 23. The 2011 wines that I have had the fortune of trying so far have been spectacular. 2011 was a winemakers vintage, presenting them with a challenge that rewards us all.

Alex Crown
PNV Social Media Crew
Cornerstone Cellars

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