The Cornerstone 2014 Calistoga Cab shows off what it's all about in Calistoga - ripe fruit and a whole bunch of it. Calistoga is the warmest place in the Napa Valley appellation, so there’s enough opportunity for the grapes to become sweet and juicy. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are fermented and aged in French oak, 70% of which was new. Despite all that new wood, the fruit controls this wine from sniff to sip. The wine hits an alcohol mark of 14.5% abv and sells for $75.
This wine is dark and deep, and smells that way. Blackberry, black cherry and plum dominate the nose. There's only a hint of wood influence - unusual for Napa Cabs - with barely noticeable traces of cedar and spice, almost no graphite. On the palate, it's a smooth ride with gently firm tannins, if that makes any sense. The flavors are as fruity as the nose, but they are just as dark. The wine finishes long and leaves dark fruit and licorice as a calling card.