Legacy Proprietary Red, Alexander Valley, CA
I have been a fan of this winery's Pinot Noir, but I have not seen the newest offerings. However, I do have enthusiastic tasting notes on Stonestreet's other red wines. The 1993 Legacy is an impressively-constructed, rich, full-bodied wine from a vintage that is often overlooked in the justifiable hype for 1994 and 1995. The 1993, the most Cabernet-dominated wine of this trio, exhibits a dark purple color, and a sweet nose of smoky vanilla, toast, and gobs of black-raspberry and cassis fruit. Like its two younger siblings, the wine reveals a smoky richness, a lush, full-bodied, chewy texture, outstanding purity, low acidity, and plenty of tannin and grip in the finish. The most powerful of the 1993-1995 Legacies, it also possesses the highest level of sweet tannin in the finish. It can be drunk now and over the next 15 years. Stonestreet's proprietary red wine called Legacy has proven to be not only a wine of exceptional quality, but one of remarkable consistency over the last three vintages. The blend can vary (the 1993 is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc), to one less marked by Cabernet Sauvignon (the 1994 is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Verdot). The 1995 is composed of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, and 1% Petite Verdot. All of these wines are aged for 20-23 months in 100% new French oak barrels, and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. I found them to be flamboyant, opulently-textured, rich, expressive, and dramatic proprietary reds that are loaded with character. Moreover, they possess 10-20 years of aging potential. The 1994 and 1995 may merit higher scores with more aging.
Stonestreet is a 40,000 case production winery that is part of the Kendall-Jackson umbrella organization known as Artisans and Estates. The wines to date have been impressive, and as the tasting notes in this article exhibit, upcoming releases are equally convincing. This winery has done an excellent job with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and their proprietary red wine called Legacy. All of Stonestreet's 90 acres of vineyards are located in the Alexander Valley. The property, purchased by Jess Jackson in 1989, seems to have immense potential, as evidenced by the following wines, all of which were made by the talented Steve Test. One has to admire Test's simplistic goals of producing wines that possess "richness, depth, balance, power, suppleness, and delicacy." This winery is doing everything right, making it one of the superstar producers in the Jess Jackson-owned group of small estate wineries collectively known as Artisans and Estates. -- Rated 91 points by Robert Parker