May 17, 2012 0 comments Articles & Reviews, By Jonathan Cristaldi

Stone The Crows – from Winemaker Thomas R. Brown


Let us say that I’m a “friend of the farmer” behind Stone The Crows. And let us say that the “farmer” is a country gentleman who enlisted the Food & Wine magazine 2010 Winemaker of the Year, Mr. Thomas Rivers Brown to make this new Napa Valley boutique production Cabernet Sauvignon.

Thomas studied under Ehren Jordan (winemaker at Turley and Failla) and who by all accounts from Hardy Wallace, is a bonafide genius maker of fermented juice.

They key is pedigree. And then there’s this:

Three Twins Vineyard (photo courtesy of Stone The Crows website).

Tell me what kind of grapes wouldn’t be happy growing here? The Three Twins vineyard comprises five acres of vines planted on fairly steep hillsides way up Conn Valley road in St. Helena, CA. Underneath the cloud cover in the distance is Lake Hennessey, first cousin to Lake Berryessa. From these vines, comes forth a plush, elegant Napa valley Cabernet that over-delivers.

2009 Stone The Crows (Napa Valley)

Recently, I took the liberty of bringing along a bottle to a blind tasting that included some notable and well-established NYC noses (aka sommeliers). Here is a smattering of what the group thought:

  • Wine is 4-7 years old
  • Surprised by smooth, plush tannin
  • Bright cherry aromas
  • Surely an Old World wine

Et Voila! I revealed the wine and with the 2009 vintage clocking in at a mere 35 cases, as indicated on the bottle, excitement was had by all, especially in discovering that the wine was a young Napa Cab grown from vines neighboring a heavy-hitter like Continuum.

Stefan Blicker of and Wine Berserkers was equally impressed and you can read his review here.

225 cases will be made from the 2010 vintage and production is expected to reach a mere 500-600 cases in 2012. That being said, now is the time to find yourself on the list, especially if you’ve left your heart just north of San Francisco where some of the world’s most surprising, delightful and elegant boutique production wines are coming into fruition. And as the Three Twins Vineyard matures, this wine will grow in complexity – there’s already a good balance of minerality and fruit – it’s a feel-good wine that should accompany you out to dinner where corkage is reasonable and think: spectacular views, balcony-sipping, the feeling you have when you’ve just come from a round of croquet or decided to take Friday off (again). Yes, you just might do that – don’t forget your corkscrew. And don’t forget to visit the website and sign up on the list before it’s too late (retail price is TBA):

Twas indeed a blind tasting


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