Tasting the 2015 Stony Hill Cabernet feels like taking a step back in time.
The estate was established in by Fred and Eleanor McCrea in the 1940s. After settling in, they decided to plant a vineyard outside of their house and, because they loved the wines of Burgundy, decided to plant Chardonnay. It seems unusual today, but at that time it was considered revolutionary, because Chardonnay was not a popular grape at the time (most people preferring sweeter wines at the time) and because the experts at the time thought that Chardonnay could not produce good wines in Napa. Obviously history has proven everyone wrong!
What I love about Stony Hill is that their winemaking style has not significantly changed since the 1970s. They are truly "old school", which is of course "new school" now that the pendulum has swung. There wines are extremely expressive of the terroir, with minimal oak usage and lower alcohol levels which are a glimpse of how wines were made in the legendary 1970s in Napa.
Cabernet is actually a new project for Stony Hill, only being planted on the property in the 2000s, but the results so far have been remarkable. The 2015 is elegant, restrained, and full of finesse, as it should be.