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Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • CG96
  • RP95
  • WE94
  • W&S92
  • WS90
14% ABV
  • JS94
  • RP96
  • WW96
  • JS96
  • WS92
  • RP100
  • WW100
  • W&S100
  • JS96
  • D95
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • WE94
  • W&S94
  • RP95
  • RP96
  • WE94
  • RP96
  • WS91
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WS92
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  • WS92
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Volcanic Hill is the longest lived of Diamond Creek wines. The wines are full bodied and loaded with intense ripe berry fruit, cassis, violets and a smoky richness, finishing with good length and firm tannins.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 98
James Suckling
Blackberries, blackcurrants and minerals. Full body and tight tannins. Powerful and long. Amazing depth and structure. Muscular. Classy tannin structure. This needs a few years to soften but amazing. Try in 2018.
CG 96
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wonderfully precise in its varietal focus and showing exceptional continuity and length, Diamond Creek's Volcanic Hill bottling is, at even this tender age, a complex and layered wine of great depth and dimension. What it is not, however, is in any way flashy or extravagant and its incisive Cabernet fruit is enriched with lovely, wholly complementary oak. Its balanced composition makes it one of the stars of an outstanding vintage, and it is poised to age beautifully for years to come.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012s from Diamond Creek represent an homage to founder Al Brounstein and the winery’s 40th anniversary. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill is a big-time winner, with notes of charcoal, red and black fruits, cedar wood and a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel are followed by a concentrated, structured age-worthy wine that should last at least 25-40 years, if you go by past history. These were some of the most age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignons made in the world.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
An waft of leather saddle opens this release from an historic Diamond Mountain site celebrating 40 years of wines with this vintage. Soft and refined, it’s a complex expression of cassis, black currant and mountain tannins, well integrated and age-worthy. The finish is lengthy in a touch of coffee. Drink now through 2022.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Tasted recently at the estate, the 2012 Volcanic Hill showed the best among Diamond Creek’s three main vineyard sites. This south-facing slope of white volcanic soil benefited from an even growing season without aggressive heat spikes; the wine doesn’t show the sunny warmth that it often does in hotter vintages, its power more reined in. On another day, from different bottles, Red Rock and Gravelly Meadow outperformed it at our panel tasting; Volcanic Hill was luscious and rich, while the tannins brought some cool greenness to the dark berry fruit. It’s mossy and cool, even as the warmth of the site pushes from behind the tannins, creating a dynamic that should play out in intriguing ways as the wine ages.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A complex, austere style, highlighting flavors of loamy earth, cedary oak, dusty berry and dried herb. Combines the strength of earthiness with a measure of structure and refinement, ending with a black licorice note. Best from 2018 through 2030.
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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 now the world's most planted grape variety. 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 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 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.

SOU371170_2012 Item# 136873