Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 | Kari Auringer Jewel
Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 displays a dense ruby core with thick legs. So the aromas are driven by black plum and blackberry preserves wrapped in violets and lilac and accented by winter spice, clove, and tobacco. The mouthfeel has it all: dark fruit, spice, and a long finish. This is depth, power, and concentration from an excellent Napa Valley vintage and two masters. Drink now–2028.
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In the 2016 vintage that Vinous called “extraordinary,” the team set out to craft a Benchlands bottle that represented Napa’s gestalt, and they succeeded wildly. This is a gorgeous wine, pouring a dark ruby-purple, with aromatics of dark blackberries, and baked plums.
Plus a seductive mélange of flowers, spice, and cigar box spilling out of the glass. The palate is full-bodied and lush, with present but elegant tannins carrying a long finish.
Led by Charles Thomas | One of California’s best winemakers
Charles Thomas leads Cornerstone, whose work with
- Opus One, Robert Mondavi,
- Cardinale, Lokoya,
- Verité, and Quintessa
has prompted Robert Parker to call him “brilliant,” and Wine Spectator to call him “one of California’s best winemakers.”
Thomas’s winemaking partner at Cornerstone is Kari Auringer, whose own resume includes a 100-point Cabernet. Together forming one of the most formidable duos in Napa. As a result, the Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 is the kind of jewel you would expect from two powerhouse winemakers and one of the top vintages in Napa history.
And there’s more… 100-Point Winemaker Kari Auringer
When Winemaker Kari Auringer became 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.
While 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 including the Cornerstone Cellars Benchlands Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.
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In addition, by creating Scarecrow, Lindstrom, and Corra, singling out Kari as a rising star in Napa Valley winemaking. While Kari believes her success is a combination of dedication, hard work, talent and working with great people.
Kari extols, “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.”