Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 1994
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Gravelly Meadow is our lowest yielding vineyard. The wines are described as "earthy, cedary, jammy and ripe blackberry with a spicy expansive finish."
Wine Spectator - "An elegant, sophisticated wine, complex, with ripe cherry, sweet plum and spicy anise and cedary notes. Finishes with a long, full aftertaste and mellow tannins."
The Wine Advocate - "All three 1994s are backward, well-built, tannic wines meant to last for two decades or more. I suspect they will be among the least flattering wines to taste when released. The dark ruby/purple-colored 1994 Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a nose of loamy, dusty earth intermingled with scents of jammy, ripe black fruits and oak, full body, and layers of flavor. Although young and unevolved, it displays exceptional promise if cellared for 7-8 years. As a fan of Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignons in the seventies and early eighties, I have frequently detailed my lack of enthusiasm for vintages after 1984. For that reason, I am happy to report that barrel samples of Diamond Creek's 1994s look to be the most reassuringly fine examples of this estate's Cabernets that I have tasted since 1984. Let's hope they put the wines into the bottle naturally, without excessive fining or filtering. Certainly the raw materials are very impressive."
Diamond Creek Winery
Diamond Creek, California's first "Cabernet only" estate vineyard, was established in 1968. Visionary pioneer, Al Brounstein, defied modern convetion and planted Bordeaux varietals on secluded Diamond Mountain. The three distinct soil types on theis 20-acre property produce different single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. Light ash soild of Volcanic Hill is in sharp contrast to the iron-rich Red Rock Terrace and the pebbly Gravelly Meadow. Each year, the estate produces a small amount of long-lived wines that are revered by connoisseurs the world over. View all Diamond Creek Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.