"Winemaker Philippe Melka enthusiastic about 2008 harvest."
Gemstone's 2008 harvest yielded a small quantity of exceptional fruit with very superrich and concentrated flavors, according to winemaker Philippe. "There may be less Gemstone and Facets wines than we were blessed with the last few years," he said, "but early tastes promise very high quality." Fermentations went well, and the wines are now resting in their precious, French oak barrels.
"I like its balance, forward, accessible style, and beautiful sweet black currant fruit intermixed with notions of licorice, forest floor, and subtle oak."-Robert Parker (90-93 points), Wine Advocate, #186
Gemstone and Facets 2007
Robert Parker awards the 2007 Gemstone proprietary red 95 points and raves, "The 2007 Gemstone proprietary red may turn out to be the finest wine this estate has yet produced."
The Wine Advocate
"This is a full-bodied, dense yet elegant red possessing both power and concentration that have not compromised its ethereal characteristics. With the tell-tale purity and equilibrium/harmony that are so much a part of this vintage as well as sweet tannins , this flashy, gorgeously proportioned, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon may turn out to be the finest wine this estate has yet produced."
(95 points) -Robert Parker, #180
Robert Parker on 2007 Facets of Gemstone, Estate Blend:
"The dense, ruby/purple-tinged 2007 Facets offers abundant amounts of sweet black cherry and black currant fruit intertwined with soil and underbrush undertones. It also reveals the opulence and fleshiness of this vintage."
(93 points) -The Wine Advocate, #186
Gemstone and Facets 2006
"Balance and Purity; a hallmark of this Estate."-Robert Parker
We are not only grateful to Robert Parker for his current review of our new releases but most of all to you, our valued "Gem Friends," for your enthusiasm for the Gemstone and Facets of Gemstone wines.
These recent releases of the Gemstone Proprietary Red and Facets Estate Red Blend are extraordinary examples of the remarkable fruit from Gemstone Vineyard and the talents of winemaker Philippe Melka.
"The superb 2006 Gemstone Proprietary Red (a blend of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot) is from the cooler Oakville/Yountville sector of Napa. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as a beautiful bouquet of subtle new oak interwoven with black currants, smoke, licorice, and a hint of spring flowers. The wine is full-bodied, with excellent density, admirable balance, and fine purity, a hallmark of this estate. The wine is spicy, full-bodied, opulent, and gorgeous, and it will no doubt age well for 15+ years."
93 points -Robert Parker, #174 12/2007 & #180 12/2008
"Aromas of herb, currant, tar, mineral, and sage give this a rich, savory character. Dense and concentrated; this is well-focused and persistent, ending with a long, complex aftertaste."
91 points -James Laube, Web Review 2007
Stephan Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
"Saturated deep ruby. Crushed rock, blackberry, blueberry, violet, menthol and espresso on the nose. Dense, supple, layered and deep, with chewy flavors of black fruits and bitter chocolate in a distinctly masculine style. This wine possesses a big structure, finishing with notes of gravel and toast. There are 17 different combinations of varieties and clones in this 17-acre vineyard, of which Philippe Melka remains in charge of winemaking."
90-92 points -Stephen Tanzer, May/Jun 08 & May/Jun 09
Wine Advocate- on 2006 Facets of Gemstone
"A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a small dose of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc." Much more dramatic, richer and more opulent than the 2005, but not losing any of its underlying elegance is the dark ruby/purple-tinged 2006 Facets. This complex, pure red could easily pass for a fine Bordeaux."
(92-94 points) -Robert Parker, Issues #174-180
- "The Most Respected Wine Critics Agree on Gemstone Ratings"
Robert Parker of "The Wine Advocate" and James Laube of "The Wine Spectator" have both awarded the 2005 vintage Gemstone 95 points, among their very highest ratings of the vintage. Mr. Parker described the Gemstone as "an absolutely gorgeous wine" with "uncanny elegance and symmetry", concluding "these are stunning wines". Mr. Laube raved about the "superrich concentration and plush texture that coats the palate". Stephen Tanzer of "International Wine Cellar" called the 2005 edition "possibly the best Gemstone yet".
- "Gemstone is Among the Most Coveted Prizes at 2008 Wine Auctions"
A 3 Liter engraved bottle of Gemstone 2005 brings $12,000 to benefit Cystic Fibrosis at the Los Angeles Winemaster's Auction, the auctions highest single-bottle wine lot for an unprecedented eighth consecutive year! Barrel Samples of Gemstone 2006 also led the pack of Napa's finest wines presented at the Napa Vinter's Barrel Auction, bringing one of the auctions two highest bids. The Wine Spectator's James Laube seemed to agree with the enthusiasm for Gemstone 2006, putting Gemstone at the very top of his "Favorite Wines" tasted at the auction.
At Emeril Lagasse's "Carnivale du Vin", founders Suzie and Paul Frank and Gemstone proprietors Carole and Michael Marks share the festival's 2008 Bacchus Award. The Marks' donation of the owner's suite at a Golden State Warriors game combined with a library selection of Gemstone wines was one of the auction's most popular lots, benefiting the Children's charities of the Lagasse Foundation. (Note: the event featured an enormous ice sculpture of the Gemstone logo.)
- "Gemstone Featured on TV"
The crew of the NBC nationally syndicated "In Wine Country with Mary Babitt" followed the meticulous harvest at Gemstone Vineyard into the winery as Gemstone's remarkable fruit is shepherded into superb wine by celebrated winemaker Philippe Melka. This harvest special is scheduled to air on Sunday December 14th at 9:00 Pacific Time. Please check your local listings for area program times.
"One of the Stars of the Vintage" (95 points)
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, December 2006
Vintage 2004 was an intensely rich but small crop resulting in a diminished production and limited availability. Please be sure to return your order promptly to assure your allocation; we regret that it will not be possible to fill all orders.
Robert Parker describes "Facets of Gemstone Estate Red Blend 2004":
"(52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a similar character [to Gemstone] but more mocha, black cherry, chocolate and espresso-like notes, a plumper more lush sweetness (no doubt because of the higher percentage of Merlot) and great aromatics, texture, expansiveness and length. It should continue to improve for 2-5 years and drink well for 12-15 years." (Issue 168)
"Full-bodied, dense, and well-balanced"-Robert Parker (91 points)
Wine Advocate #162
- Gemstone is invited by the Wine Spectator as a featured participant in the California Wine Experience 2006 Event "California's Highest Scoring and Hardest-to-Get Cult Wines."
- Gemstone 2003 takes the highest single-bottle bid honors ($9,000) for the fifth consecutive year at Hollywood's Winemasters Auction benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
- 5 cases from Gemstone 2003 Barrel "+12" brings $27,000 from the wine trade at the Napa Premier Auction, making it one of the top lots out of more than 200.
Gemstone and Facets 2002
"It certainly shows the vintage's power, richness, and exuberant character."-Robert Parker on 2002 Facets of Gemstone (89-90 points)
- Gemstone 2002 receives one of the three highest scores awarded to California Cabernets in Wine Spectator's Annual Cabernet Review.
- Gemstone 2002 is the unanimous first-place choice at a "double-blind" tasting by a panel of professional tasters headed by Master of Wine Ronn Wiegand at a St. Helena tasting of 2002 vintage "cult" wines.
Robert Parker commends winemaker Philippe Melka on this "impressive, beautifully proportioned 2001 Proprietary Red wine": "Proprieter Paul Frank has turned a great winemaker loose, resulting in a powerful, rich red with a French-like elegance and complexity. (94 points)
-The Wine Advocate, # 150 & 157
"An elegant, dense, medium to full-bodied, impressively pure offering."
-Robert Parker (91 points), The Wine Advocate #150
A "Beautifully textured, elegant, concentrated offering that merits significant attention," claims Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate. (93 points)
"Full-bodied, fleshy, rich, and pure, this is a mouth-filling effort." (91 points)
-Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate #139
Are we happy? You couldn't "chisel" the grins from our faces! But the credit goes to our exceptional vineyard site, our dedicated vineyard and winemaking staff, and you, our dear "Gem-Friends" for your appreciation of Gemstone wines. Thank you.