Cornerstone and Stepping Stone Cellars

Owner(s) Craig Camp, John Carrier, Michael Dragutsky, Jeff Keene, Hal Lewis
Web site www.cornerstonecellars.com
 
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Cornerstone and Stepping Stone Cellars

Napa's Craig Camp has enlisted noted Oregon winemaker Tony Rynders to produce Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley beginning with the 2008 vintage. Production in 2008 was a minuscule 50 cases of Pinot Noir, increasing to 200 cases of Pinot Noir in 2009 and 800 cases of Pinot Noir and 200 cases of Chardonnay in 2010. The wine will be produced and bottled just outside of Gaston, Oregon where Rynders also makes his own wine under the Tendril label. Camp is using his contacts from time spent in Oregon to acquire top-notch vineyard contracts.

Camp, who was the president at Annie Amie Winery, developed a passion for Pinot Noir more than 30 years ago when he began importing the Burgundy selections of Becky Wasserman and made frequent trips to the Burgundy estates she was representing.

Tasting is available in Yountville at 6505 Washington St. (707-945-0388).

Reviewed Wines

2010 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Unreleased. Five vineyard sources. Vinified by Tony Rynders. · Pleasingly fruity on the nose, featuring red and blue fruits on the palate with a good grip of spice. Plenty to like here because of the wine’s appealing finesse, balance, and length of finish. A classic cool climate Pinot Noir. Very good. Reviewed August 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Stepping Stone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 137 cases, $30. The painting on the label is “Color of Life” by Oregon artist Janet Ekholm. Sourced from all six Willamette Valley sub-AVAs with the majority from Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills. Aged 13 months in 35% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of black cherries and toasty oak. Mid weight core of dark cherry fruit becoming more vibrant over time in the glass. Soft in the mouth with mild tannins and some length on the earthy, fruit-driven finish. A straightforward, accessible wine showing a tad more oak than I prefer but otherwise solid. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Stepping Stone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 137 cases, $30. The painting on the label is “Color of Life” by Oregon artist Janet Ekholm. Sourced from all six Willamette Valley sub-AVAs with the majority from Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills. Aged 13 months in 35% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of black cherries and toasty oak. Mid weight core of dark cherry fruit becoming more vibrant over time in the glass. Soft in the mouth with mild tannins and some length on the earthy, fruit-driven finish. A straightforward, accessible wine showing a tad more oak than I prefer but otherwise solid. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2012. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc.,166 cases, $35. 50% Yamhill-Carlton and 50% Chehalem Mountains. Aged in 24% new French oak for 16 months sur lies. 80% malolactic fermentation. · Light straw color in the glass. Enticing aromas of peach, butter pecan and toasty oak becoming more intense over time in the glass. Flavors of white peach, baked pear, grilled lemon and toffee are broad in the mouth and nicely supported by well-integrated acidity. The finish is dry and refreshing. A polished, very well crafted wine. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 498 cases, $50. Sourced from all six Williamette Valley sub-AVAs with the majority (68%) from the Yamhill-Carlton District. Aged 15 months in 62% new French oak. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of black cherries and dark berry compote with a hint of smoky oak. Not as expressive as it will be with more bottle age, yet showing enticing flavors of dark cherries and raspberries pulled into line with fine acidity and tannin. Finishes dry with a flourish of cherries. Nicely composed and balanced and a worthy cellar candidate. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Cornerstone Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 400 cases, $50. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries and spice. Delicious medium weighted flavors of blueberries, black cherries and black raspberries with an emphasis on cherry. Riffs of cola and spice add interest. Juicy with restrained, dusty tannins, well-honed acidity and the slightest complimentary oak in the background. The flavors are ahead of the aromas at this stage. A beautiful wine that shows impeccable balance for the cellar but can be thoroughly enjoyed now. An All-American for 2012. Reviewed January 12, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Cornerstone Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 50 cases, $45. 50% Eola Hills AVA and 50% Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. 75% Pommard clone and 25% Dijon 115 clone. Aged 15 months in 50% new and 50% 1-yearold French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of dark berry jam, spice and roseate potpourri. Delicious essence of darker berry and stone fruits with a note of anise, oak spice and loamy earth. Still has some tannin to shed and isn’t offering all the charm it will in another year or two. Doesn’t yet capture your full attention, but definitely gets a nod. Very good. Reviewed September 8, 2010 ARTICLE »