J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Range: 90-94 Points
In 1965, Jack and Jamie Davies began reviving the historic Schramsberg winery property in Napa Valley. They challenged conventional ideas and relied on innovation to craft the first world-class, American, méthode traditionelle sparkling wines produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In the 1990s, a second generation of the Davies family undertook replanting the estate on Diamond Mountain to red Bordeaux varieties, and J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was launched with the 2001 vintage. In 2014, the family released the compelling and balanced 2012 Davies Vineyards single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, a logical evolution based on over 40 years’ experience with cool-climate Pinot Noir sites and grapes in the North Coast.
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.
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.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.