2013 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall Vineyard

Year: 2013
Appellation: Sonoma County
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 95+
Vinous Media: 94+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall Vineyard comes from a high-elevation site of 2,000 to 2,200 feet. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 21 months in 66% new French oak. This vineyard is a south-facing micro-terroir with lots of rocks, and the wine smells of mountain garrigue intermixed with black cherry, blackberry and cassis. The wine is dense, full-bodied, rich and rugged, but not rustic. It is a full-bodied, massive, rather backward and primordial wine for those with the patience to cellar it. Forget it for 5-8 years, and drink it over the following 40+ years.

Over the last half-dozen or so years, the Jackson family have dramatically and consistently upgraded the quality of Stonestreet Estate Vineyards. All of these wines come from their huge Alexander Valley mountain estate, and the winemaker of recent vintages has been Lisa Valtenbergs. She and her predecessor began decreasing the amount of new oak on the wines, and it has been a perfect marriage with the great fruit they get from their diverse terroirs spread over this mountain vineyard, ranging from 800 to over 2,400 feet in elevation in the case of some of the Cabernet Sauvignons. There are seven separate cuvées of Chardonnay, all of them exceptional, as well as a very limited production (280 cases) 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

To reiterate, all seven Chardonnays emerge from various vineyards at different elevations, and all are fermented with indigenous yeasts. For the most part, every one of them is aged 11 months after being fermented with native yeast. The percentage of new oak varies, most of them in the 38 to 50% range, and they use only French oak. There are some great Chardonnays here, with production ranging from a high of 2,860 cases for the Estate Chardonnay, and the single vineyard wines ranging from a low of 259 cases for the Red Point to 939 cases for the Upper Barn. The red wines all range in quantity levels from a low of 205 cases for the Monolith Vineyard to 11,339 cases for the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Vineyard elevations range from a low of 400 feet to as high as 2,400 feet. The wines are all aged in French oak with varying percentages of new oak, indicated in the following tasting notes. Of course, all of these come from the massive Alexander Mountain estate vineyard, which is divided into 300 blocks, with nearly 800 acres planted. This is a small percentage, given the fact that the entire estate encompasses 6,000 acres! If my recollection is correct, the late Jess Jackson considered this estate one of the true jewels in his extensive vineyard holdings." (WA)

"A big, sweeping wine, the Stonestreet 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rockfall is also the most vivid and complete of these Cabernets. Mocha, black cherry jam, spice, licorice and leather are some of the signatures. The Rockfall is unusually polished for such a big, mountain wine. With time in the glass, the Rockfall gains volume and intensity. Today, the 2013 is naturally quite young, but it is shaping up to be a gem." (VM)

Winery Notes:
Sourced from one of our highest elevation vineyards, the 2013 Rockfall Cabernet Sauvignon features a vibrant wildness that aptly expresses its rugged growing site above the fogline. Bold aromas of Santa Rosa plum, black cherry, and dark chocolate overlay nuanced undercurrents of mountain scrub, bramble, and toasty brown baking spice. This powerful wine’s classically savory palate also displays hints of blackberry cobbler and sweet tobacco leaf in 2013, which lie in perfect balance to its generous structure and velvety tannin profile.