Pulled this out of the cellar last night for a birthday dinner. It had been laying down for over 7 years. This is a blend of 40% of Cabernet Franc, 38% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% of Merlot. Combining these three varietals allowed renown winemaker Phillipe Melka to bring forth some of the best qualities and depth of character for these Alexander Valley (California) grapes.
(pictures from Skipstone Winery)
Interesting story on how the owner Fahri Diner came to own this remarkable vineyard. Recounting the story told to me by him seven years ago, he was undecided on purchasing the property. Located on the property was an irrigation pond. Perplexed, he told his wife, if he could skip a stone from one side to the other, he would buy the property. So not only the decision to move forward with the vineyard and winery, but the name seemed appropriate. He then convinced Phillipe Melka to be the winemaker and it was his sole winemaking venture in Alexander Valley at the time.
On the nose soft fragrances of blueberries and dark fruit. On the palate, the berries (Blue & Black) and herbal qualities meshed seamlessly to provide a mellow taste. No hard edges considering the two Cabernets in the same bottle. It was smooth and tannins were sufficiently tamed to provide a balanced and enjoyable wine. The finish provided hints of chocolate and roasted light coffee. An exquisite wine for special occasions and food pairings. The current vintages goes for $165.
This was paired with a seared BBQ tri-tip steak marinated in a Chaka sauce for 24 hours. Accompaning were baked Yukon Gold potatoes rubbed in olive oil, Himalayan pink sea salt and topped with Parmesan cheese. A fresh garden salad and baked Hawaiian rolls topped with garlic butter (unfortunately not shown!). Dessert was a homemade cheesecake by Susan Kelly served on the patio. A meal and wine for a perfect birthday celebration!