Waterstone Wines Spring Mountain
Founded in 2000 with an objective to “create luxury wines at affordable prices”, Philip Zorn and Brent Shortridge have come a long way towards achieving that goal. They own no vineyards nor any winemaking facility, but in view of their strong relationship with top growers and wineries, they have been able to bring about a remarkable rapport qualité/prix for their wines. A Syrah made from cool climate fruit in the Carneros district displays typical spiciness with good upfront tarry tones and soft tannins. There is a really judicious use of oak – only 12 months in French oak, of which around a third is new, providing an attractive soft texture. The fruit for their Merlot is sourced half from cool Carneros and half from the hotter Chiles Valley. This combination has allowed the wine to develop a little jammy smoothness coupled with very good finesse. Ripe fruit and good intensity again characterizes their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, with the majority of grapes being sourced from hillside vineyards in Oakville and Rutherford, but with the addition of some Diamond Mountain fruit adding structure. Although the wine is vinified in mainly new French barriques for 18 months, there is remarkable balance between of fruit, tannin and acidity. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are less impressive, well made but lacking the same finesse and varietal flavour. The winery also produces a rosé Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which have not been tasted as well as a Napa valley Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc. Philip Zorn is an intelligent winemaker who obviously handles his fruit very carefully and the gentle pricing of the finished product (with perhaps, the exception of the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon) is an added bonus. (NB)
To find out more about Waterstone Wines and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Napa and Carneros..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines.