he 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall Vineyard, which sees 57% new French oak for 20 months, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with a deep, opaque purple color and notes of charcoal, créme de cassis, graphite and white chocolate. It is full-bodied, multilayered, very deep, impressive and long. Stonestreet continues to build wines that show less emphasis on toasty new oak and more emphasis on vineyard site, fruit quality, and overall harmony and elegance. They make two Sauvignon Blancs, seven Chardonnays and five Cabernet Sauvignons, all from the Alexander Valley high-elevation hillside vineyards of the Jackson family. (RP)
Graphite, smoke, tobacco, new leather, licorice and gravel are some of the signatures in Stonestreet's 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall. The most savory and mineral of these Cabernets, the Rockfall is also arguably the wine that captures the greatest amount of site specificity. The firm tannins are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit, but they are there. In this vintage though, the contours are a bit softened, which does have the benefit of making the wine more accessible early, but at some expense of vineyard nuance. Stonestreet is one of the crown jewels in the vast Jackson Family Estates empire. Winemaker Lisa Valtenbergs is now running the show at Stonestreet's Alexander Mountain Estate. There are plenty of highlights among these new releases. The 2013 Chardonnays are essays into the different blocks and clonal selections that are planted throughoutthe property. Although the wines are strong, I am not sure the seven bottlings are meaningfully different from each other. The 2012 reds are all impressive. In this vintage the forward, fruit-driven personality of the year dominates, while some of the more typical savory/mineral signatures take a back seat. Frankly, it is a shame these wines are not better known. (AG)
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