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Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
  • JS97
  • CG94
  • RP94
  • W&S94
  • WS91
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Gravelly Meadow is Diamond Creek's lowest yielding vineyard. The wines are described as "earthy, cedary, jammy and ripe blackberry with a spicy expansive finish."

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 97
James Suckling
Aromas of dark fruits such as blackcurrants as well as chili spices. Maybe some tar. It's full-bodied with wonderful depth and intensity. It starts slowly and grabs your attention. Voluptuous fruit style to this. Better in 2020.
CG 94
Connoisseurs' Guide
Here, again, is a lovely rendition of deep, carefully constructed Cabernet Sauvignon that is certain to please any and all collectors, and, if a short step back of its mates with respect to overall fruity volume, it earns enthusiastic recommendation for its balance, its length and its varietal purity. In truth, it is hard to go wrong with any of the new Diamond Creek offerings, and, as good as it is now, this one is meant for aging and will grow effortlessly for a decade or more.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Lastly, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow, from the smallest of the parcels at five acres, seems to be the most gravelly (pardon the pun) and with loads of minerality it’s a more backward tannic style. Offering less obvious pleasure, but loads of structure and minerality, it’s an intellectual interpretation of Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s full-bodied, rich and needs a good decade of cellaring. Rating: 94+
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Diamond Creek runs past this small, alluvial wash along its south bank before descending into a canyon between Volcanic Hill and Red Rock Terrace. The soils at Gravelly Meadow are shallow and were not initially welcoming to the vines, which took six years to produce their first vintage in 1974. Those original vines, never replanted, are still dry farmed, on St-George rootstock that now descends deep into the rocky soil. They produced a deep baritone wine in 2012, its dark, earthy tannins contrasted by higher notes of plums, jasmine and juniper. Sunny and cool, this is balanced to age and evolve for a decade or more.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Leather saddle and chocolate overlay a juicy midpalate of cassis, blackberry and dried herb that’s soft and supple on the palate. Tightly wound, time in the bottle should do wonders to tame the tight oak and tannin, and temper the powerful finish. Cellar through 2022. Cellar Selection.
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Diamond Creek

Diamond Creek

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Diamond Creek, Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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Diamond Creek, California's first "Cabernet only" estate vineyard, was established in 1968. Visionary pioneer, Al Brounstein, defied modern convention 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.

Diamond Mountain District

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Diamond Mountain is the northernmost mountain appellation in the Mayacamas Range, on the northwest side of the valley floor, above the town of Calistoga. Defined mainly by elevation, vineyards are planted at 400 to 2,200 feet.

Diamond Mountain vineyards receive plenty of sunshine at these elevations and are typically above the coastal fog line. But given its western proximity, the area still easily cools down from early morning and late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes. The AVA (American Viticultural Area) covers 5,000 acres but just over 500 acres are under vine.

Diamond Mountain soils, mainly weathered, red sedimentary rock and decomposed, volcanic ash, are infertile, quick-draining and produce small, thick-skinned grapes, bursting with chewy tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Zinfandel have great success here.

Like other sub-appellations in Napa Valley, the Diamond Mountain area had no shortage of pioneer winemakers. Rudy von Strasser led the effort for Diamond Mountain to acquire AVA status in 1999.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

SOU371129_2012 Item# 136872