The 2016 Stone opens remarkably in the glass: currants, cloves, blackberry, black cherry, a touch of sage and bay laurel. The finish is still fairly tight, but with a little time it’s already showing some generous, ripe fruit.
My parents bought this ranch in 1971 and, a year later, planted one of Alexander Valley’s first Cabernet vineyards here. The subsoil at the Stone Vineyard is a crumbling yellow rock made of compressed volcanic ash and the grapes that grow there reflect that fact: the tannins are always firm and, when young, the wines have a brooding and withdrawn character. In the right year and with the right amount of time, they evolve into wines with the sort of tannic structure and complexity of flavor that only great Cabernet can achieve. WINE CLUB ONLY