Cornerstone Cellars Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 | Parker’s “Star Winemaker”
Cornerstone Cellars Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is deep ruby in color. Ripe and jammy blackberries and boysenberries with mocha and cassis. While, rich and bold on the palate with dark chocolate, black cherry, and blueberries. Long, luxurious finish. Drink now through 2025. The Cornerstone Cellars Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is the handiwork of superstars Charles Thomas and his winemaking partner at Cornerstone, Winemaker Kari Auringer.
This Cornerstone Cellars Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is a stunning example of what a stellar vintage like 2014 can offer. Ripe, concentrated fruit, yet perfectly balanced. The aromas burst out of the glass with irresistible aromas of boysenberry, plum, black cherry and blackberry. The fruit aromas are intertwined with complex layers of toasty vanilla, cocoa, and black licorice. The full, lush texture fills the palate with silky tannins, bold black fruit, and baking spices. The plum and blackberry linger on the satiny finish. It’s ready to show its stuff now but has the potential to age beautifully for years to come.
Winemaker Duo Charles Thomas & Kari Auringer
The Cornerstone Cellars Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 is the handiwork of superstars Charles Thomas and his winemaking partner at Cornerstone, Kari Auringer. Kari’s own resume includes a Scarecrow 100-pointer. Their combined expertise makes them one of the most formidable winemaking duos in Napa, While the 2014 “dream vintage” delivered perfect fruit for this ripe and luxurious Cabernet. You’ll find it at Napa’s Morimoto restaurant for a whopping $29 per glass, at the winery’s Yountville tasting room’ for $65, or via Wine Access for only $50 per bottle.
Like Charles Thomas, many winemakers believe that winemaking begins in the vineyard. But few can back it up as he can, with experience at nearly every conceivable step between terroir and table. Thomas worked as a barrel enologist, senior enologist, and assistant winemaker at Robert Mondavi. While at Mondavi, he was instrumental in the conception and execution of Opus One. Furthermore, cementing his place in the pantheon of transformative winemakers are Thomas’s contributions to Cardinale, Rudd, and Quintessa.
More about Winemaker Kari Auringer
When Winemaker Kari Auringer became the winemaker for Cornerstone Cellars she was, in fact, coming home as, for most of the vintages of the 2000s, Kari was an assistant winemaker to Celia Welch, who made the wines of Cornerstone Cellars from 2000 through 2007. Contributing to the fame of some of the Napa Valley’s most luminous names. Kari’s fingerprint is already on almost a decade of Cornerstone Cellars wines.
In addition, by creating Scarecrow, Lindstrom, and Corra, Kari has been singled out as a rising star in Napa Valley winemaking. Yet, Kari believes her success is a combination of dedication, hard work, talent and working with great people. Kari puts it best when she says, “I am thrilled to be part of the team at Cornerstone Cellars. Hence, we are committed to producing great wines from great vineyards. Furthermore, making the kind of wines that we want to drink. Hence, making wines that are a reflection of the vineyard, the vintage, and the variety.”
More about the making of Cornerstone Cellars Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
So, Kari describes herself as a hands-on winemaker. She gladly immerses herself in all aspects of the winemaking process from vineyard to bottle. Her style is one that embraces routinely rolling up her sleeves and staying intimately involved. Therefore, touching every step of the intricate process, from vineyard sourcing and hands-on berry sorting through the countless details of winemaking. Finally, if you don’t find her tasting barrel samples in the winery, she is probably out kicking the dirt in a vineyard.