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Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

  • JS99
  • CG97
  • RP96
  • W&S96
  • WE93
750ML / 14% ABV
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  • JS98
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Red Rock Terrace has velvety tannins. The wine is rich and well balanced, medium dark ruby color with cherry, mint and black currant flavors.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 99
James Suckling
Impressive aromas of clay, dust and blueberries. Lots of blackcurrants, too. Pure fruit. Full body, velvety and soft cashmere-textured tannins. It’s very structured. Need at least five to six years to come together but a fabulous wine. Greatest Red Rock ever?
CG 97
Connoisseurs' Guide
The three Diamond Creek 2012s stand with the best Cabernets we have yet tasted from a vintage marked by an absolute bounty of outstanding wines, and, picking one or the other as a favorite is to invite contemplative weighing of fairly small differences. This one from the Red Rock Terrace gets the nod for its ever so slightly greater fruity strength and marginally better sense of overall polish. It shares with its mates the quiet strength and exemplary balance that makes all three eminently ageworthy, and, if truth be told, it is only the slightly more perfect pea in the Diamond Creek pod.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace, from a seven-acre vineyard compared to the eight acres of Volcanic Hill, exhibits a saturated purple color, gorgeous crème de cassis and blueberry notes, underlying minerality, stunning full-bodied opulence, sweet tannin and, again, great concentration and balance. This is another 25- to 30-year wine that will hit its peak in about a decade. Nevertheless, it’s accessible already.
W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
Sexy cabernet. That may sound like a contradiction in terms, but Red Rock manages to find exotic bliss within the gravitas of cabernet’s structure. Farmed on a north-facing, terraced vineyard of iron-rich, rocky soil, this 2012 is immediately luscious and delicious, holding its cool power in a wild, gamey savor. The sophisticated, earthy flavors last for minutes, bringing the Mayacamas mountains into the glass. Humming with the energy of the vintage, this is a great tribute to Al Brounstein, the man who planted the original vines on the site, many of them still thriving today.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Soft and smooth in crisp red fruit, this block-designation has a nutty component around a thickness of tannin that suggests further aging. Medium bodied and graceful, it offers pronounced minerality and an almost dusty taste of rock itself. Cellar through 2022. Cellar Selection.
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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.

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 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 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 profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

SOU371142_2012 Item# 136867