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Oregon Advent: Day 8
Cornerstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011

by Nannette Eaton on December 9, 2014

“This is the place of places and and it is here.” ― Gertrude Stein

Cornerstone Oregon Pinot Noir 11 copyright EatonAlive 2014

Why did Cornerstone, a prestige Napa cabernet sauvignon maker venture north to Oregon to make pinot noir? Oregon is the place of places for pinot noir. Craig Camp of Cornerstone states, “The Napa Valley is one of the few perfect places on earth to grow cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is one of the few perfect places on earth to grow pinot noir and chardonnay. When we decided to make pinot noir we knew we had to look somewhere other than our home. After all, it is more important where the vine puts down roots than were we had put down our roots. Our vision is to go where the variety loves to be, not to force the variety to grow in a place just because we were there. After all, nothing is more important to a wine than the soil that gave life to the vines. That essence flows from the soil through the roots to be mixed with sunshine to create wine.”

Cornerstone Oregon Pinot Noir 5 copyright EatonAlive 2014

The Cornerstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011 is a big wine, and it’s essence will reveal itself in the coming decade. If you can’t wait to drink the Cornerstone, aerate and decant as long as your patience will allow, it was pleasant enough after a coupe of hours of air last night, but this afternoon it’s opening up beautifully with dark cherry notes predominating. The perfect pairing is Duck Breast with Pomegranate-Citrus Glaze, the music match is “Moss Mountain Town” by The Album Leaf from the album In a Safe Place.

The details: 13.5% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: Willamette Valley. Varietal: pinot noir. Retail: $50 USD. The wine was provided as an editorial sample for the Oregon Advent project.

Cornerstone Oregon Pinot Noir 6 copyright EatonAlive 2014

We know talk of marketing has no place in serious wine criticism, but as consumer writers, Wine Harlots know that’s rubbish. Labels drive purchases and wineries that ignore that do so at their peril. The labels on Cornerstone are arguably the best in the business. Stark wine, off-set and embossed, the labels are minimal, elegant and eye-catching. Every time we open a bottle we feel like we’ve won an award or received a present — a great gift giving idea, if you’re struggling with what to give during the holidays.

Wine Harlots also want to acknowledge Craig Camp’s social media (and direct to consumer) prowess. Camp understands that word-of-mouth moves bottles. He’s not the flashiest player in the game, no gimmicks or games; just a solid, honest, reliable and consistent presence in the digital realm. Kudos, Craig.

Photo credit: EatonAlive ©2014
Styling: The Wine Harlots favorite “Big Ass Pinot Glass” is the out of production Oleg Cassini Grace Burgundy wine glass. The corkscrew is Coutale Sommelier Prestige.

Oregon Advent Posts:
Thank You’s and Credits
How to Create Your Own Wine Advent Calendar
Oregon Advent: Day 1:  Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 2:  Fossil & Fawn Pinot Gris 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 3:  Willamette Valley Vineyards Bernau Block Pinot Noir 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 4:  Kramer Vineyards Celebrate! Müeller-Thurgau Sparkling 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 5:  Repeal Day Special Edition: Volstead Vodka
Oregon Advent: Day 6:  Siduri Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 7:  Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 8:  Cornerstone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 9:  Brandborg Oregon Gewurztraminer Umpqua Valley 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 10: Lange Estate Three Hills Cuvée Chardonnay 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 11: Adelsheim Vineyards Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 12: Domaine Drouhin Oregon Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 13:  Argyle Vintage Brut 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 14: Lumos Pinot Noir Temperance Hill 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 15: Cowhorn Spiral 36 2013
Oregon Advent: Day 16: Mouton Noir Oregogne 2012
Oregon Advent: Day 17: Remy Wines Lagrein 2011
Oregon Advent: Day 18: Union Wine Co. Underwood Pinot in a Can