VIN97 The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is every bit as impressive as it was last year. A wine of soaring aromatic intensity and extraordinary balance, the 2017 captivates all the senses with its exotic beauty. Ripe red cherry fruit, blood orange, spice, rose petal, menthol and licorice build as the wine gains volume and resonance with a bit of air. Quite simply, the 2017 is breathtaking. Don’t miss it.
Estate Notes: Deep and exhilarating to behold, the 2017 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine of formidable stature with finely textured, lengthy tannins. Warm spices, black tea, creme de cassis, and rose petal entice on the nose, while the palate reveals wild blackberry, fresh coffee beans, and a layer of clove and orange zest. While magnetic upon release, this dynamic wine will reward extended cellaring. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Malbec Elevage: 20 months in 66% new French oak barrels
On the backside of Spring Mountain, just west of Vineyard 7&8 and Pride Winery, situated in Sonoma County, are 20 stunning acres of well-refined vineyards cultivated with meticulous care.
Cornell Vineyards is perched between 1600 and 1900 feet. Vineyard blocks are plant- ed on various saddles, each situated above the fog line that gives the vines a jumpstart each day and at an altitude that requires long hang time well into fall. Like many of the best places to grow grapes in the world, their soils are diverse; a generous mix of prehistoric seabeds and volcanic rock to loamy clay and sandstone.
I was quite simply blown away by the wines I tasted from Cornell this year. It wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t include these wines in my regional reports because they weren’t interesting enough. Somewhere around 2013, things started to change for the better.
Today, Cornell is one of the most exciting and dynamic estate wineries in northern California. The rugged hillside vineyard lies on Spring Mountain, just beyond Pride, on the Sonoma side of the mountain, a part of Sonoma that is especially well suited to the cultivation of Bordeaux varieties.
Winemaker Elizabeth Tangney and Consulting Winemaker Françoise Peschon are doing brilliant work.
The 2017 turned out beautifully, while the 2018 may very well turn out to be epic. Readers who enjoy the more classically-leaning side of Napa/Sonoma Cabernet will absolutely adore these wines. Kudos to Henry and Vanessa Cornell for their unrelenting drive to excellence. The results of many years of hard work and significant investment are in the glass.