King of the Mountain: New Releases from Stonestreet
Posted on: 04/11/18 5:45 PM
California wines have always held a special place in my heart, familiar and comfortable, yet capable of sparking a sense of adventure and excitement. I am constantly reminded of this sense of familiarity and adventure whenever I have a glass of anything from Stonestreet Estate Vineyards. It’s always astonishing to me how much amazing value this estate offers, routinely offering top-class wines that punch well above their weight. Across the board, the wines from Stonestreet possess an elegance and restraint reminiscent of some of California’s most elite wineries, at a fraction of the cost (think Kistler, Paul Hobbs, or Peter Michael).
Stonestreet was established in 1995 by the Jess Jackson; today, his son Christopher and his wife Ariel, are leading the estate into the second generation. The family cares for a 5,500 acre mountain estate covering an impressive array of dramatic mesoclimates across an expansive array of diverse single vineyards.
I consistently fall head over heels for vintage after vintage, and predict a future as storied as their promising past for this family of superb winemakers, as they continue to build their legacy and deepen their knowledge of this remarkable estate.
2014 Estate Cabernet
My note: Classic Cali cab at a fraction of the price! Cassis, plum and explosive fruit, with a savory undercore and great balance. For the price, an easy buy.
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers up crushed black and red currants scents with hints of sautéed herbs, tapenade and charcuterie with a touch of anise. Medium-bodied with a firm structure of chewy tannins, it offers a great mid-palate of crunchy fruit and an herbal lift on the finish. 12,618 cases were made.” 90 pts. Wine Advocate
2014 Rockfall Cabernet Sauvignon
My note: Pure elegance. The mountain fruit remains light on its feet as expected, with a savory backbone of spice and tobacco. While I’m sure it will age beautifully, I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist the temptation to drink it now!
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall Vineyard has a warm black currant cordial and preserved plums-based nose with touches of new leather, spice box, chargrill and dried Provence herbs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate provides generous, mouth-filling black fruit and savory layers, framed by firm tannins and finishing on a fruity note. 969 cases produced.” 93+ Wine Advocate
2015 Estate Chardonnay
My Note: Wow! This is, flat out, exceptional, esp. for the price. Ripe orchard fruits and elegant balance. Tasted alongside the $80 Kistler. For my money …
“The 2015 Chardonnay Estate Vineyards features ripe apricots, guava and warm pineapple and brioche notes with hints of butterscotch and preserved ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals wonderful freshness and a slightly oil texture plus plenty of tropical flavors, finishing long with some spiciness coming through. 3,815 cases produced.” 91+ Wine Advocate
2015 Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay
My note: This is everything I want and more from California Chardonnay. The fruit is rich and opulent, showing beautiful white flowers and ripe citrus. An underlying minerality keeps the wine on its toes, refreshing the palate and keeping one reaching for that next sip.
“The 2015 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard opens with lovely grapefruit, fresh pears and apple pie notes with touches of croissant and toasted almonds plus a waft of brine. Medium-bodied, very elegant and very refreshing, the palate and a wonderfully mineral character and long, beautifully nuanced finish. 1,025 cases were made.” 95 pts. Wine Advocate
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