Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > New Pinot Noir from Cornerstone Cellars

New Pinot Noir from Cornerstone Cellars


Cornerstone Cellars was established in California some 20 years ago but just several years ago it extended into Oregon. It is here that Craig Camp began to work with Tony Rynders who had worked at Domaine Serene and Hogue.  This post features the two Oregon Pinot Noirs which have been recently released.  The Stepping Stone, Pinot Noir is a barrel selection of drinkable wine whereas the Cornerstone Cellars, Pinot Noir is meant to age.  The Stepping Stone is the more approachable of the two but I believe it will benefit from a few years in the cellar.  The Cornerstone Cellars has noticeably more depth and texture along with the need for more age.  So stash a few bottles away in your cellar.  These wines were provided by Cornerstone Cellars.

2010 Stepping Stone, Pinot Noir, Willamette – $30
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 45% Yamhill-Carlton, 33% Eola-Amity, 15% Chehalem Mountain, 5% McMinnville, 1% Ribbon Ridge, and 1% Dundee Hills.  It was aged for 13 months in 35% new French oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a light to medium cherry.  The nose was light to medium in strength with Pinot aromas which were a little ripe.  With air nuts, herbs, and tobacco came out.  Tasted over two nights it started with a little ripe red cherry fruit with some underlying black fruit flavors.  There were hints of midpalate structure along with tart and juicy acidity.  It put on some weight as cranberry flavors came out in the finish.  There were some sweet spices in the aftertaste along with a minerally coating of the lips.  With air the flavors became drier and the tannins more apparent.  ** 2014-2019.

2010 Cornerstone Cellars, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley – $50
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 68% Yamhill-Carlton, 10% Chehalem Mountain, 8% Eola-Amity, 6% McMinnvile, 5% Ribbon Ridge, and 3% Dundee Hills.  It was aged for 15 months in 62% new French oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The light nose revealed darker berries along with scented cherry and raspberry.  In the mouth the tart, fresh fruit had a pebbly texture, a bit of lift, and a wood note.  There was some roast and lots of berries with air.  It shows some grip and integrated acidity with a good finish and length of aftertaste.  There are certainly some fine flavors but this wine requires aging.  **(*) 2016-2022.

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