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Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

  • JS96
  • D95
  • WS95
  • CG95
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Earthy, cedary, jammy and ripe blackberry with a spicy expansive finish.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling
Black-licorice and blackberry aromas with hints of iron and hot stone. Full-bodied, dense and layered with a soft, succulent feel. Juicy and delicious aftertaste. Drink or hold. Better after 2021.
D 95
Decanter
An old-school European style with a great nose of toffee, mocha with blackcurrants and dried herbs. Grippy structure and fresh acidity; this is a youthful wine that will age gracefully. Grown in the soils of a prehistoric river bed, these gravels drain well and the vine’s roots to penetrate deeply.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Broad and deep, with dark plum and blackberry preserve flavors rolling along, lined with ganache and roasted alder notes. Savory, bay leaf and tobacco hints flitter in the background, adding energy, texture and detail. Will need some time. Best from 2022 through 2040.
CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide

Slightly more open than either of its two mates at this point and very arguably the most polished of the bunch, this year’s Gravelly Meadow is a Cabernet of considerable depth and refinement with abundant cassis and black cherry fruit neatly teamed with deftly fit oak. Despite being fairly supple in feel and relatively easy to taste at the moment, it is has the stamina to age famously, and, if likely to reach its peak a bit sooner than its Red Rock Terrace sibling, it very much deserves to be laid away and allowed to reach its full, multi-layered potential some six to ten years in the future.

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Diamond Creek

Diamond Creek

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Diamond Creek, 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.
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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.

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Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.

Tasting Notes for Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a dry red wine rich in color, tannin and extract. It 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 is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Food Pairings for Cabernet Sauvignon

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 for Cabernet Sauvignon

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

SOU917634_2016 Item# 514596