J. Davies Jamie Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
This wine holds perfumed aromas of dark red cherry, dried strawberry, raspberry and rose petal combined with violet, black tea and coffee. Dense concentrated fruit flavors of black currant, black cherry and mint mingle effortlessly with dark chocolate and are seamlessly brought together with a well-structured, rich mid-palate.
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Named for the late matriarch of the property, this is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, all of it grown on hillside estate vineyards. It dances around cherry, cassis and rose petal, the core of the wine soft in integrated tannins and oak. Balanced in weight, it is undeniably lovely, complex and beautiful. It will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2024–2034.
The most expensive wine of the group is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon J. Davies Estate Jamie. I suspect this is the proprietor’s selection of the best barrels, and it is a special wine. Juicy, with loads of sucrosity, a dense purple color, and plenty of cassis, blueberry and black berry fruit, the wine is full-bodied, but at the same time, incredibly elegant and pure. Drink it over the next 20-25 years, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see it last longer given its almost impeccable balance.
In 1965, Jamie and Jack Davies acquired the historic Schramsberg estate and began producing, as Jack said, "America's most prestigious, select, admired champagne - chosen for special guests, special gifts, pampering one's self and expressing one's taste in unique products."
Among their accomplishments: The first production use of Chardonnay in American champagnes, as well as the first American Blanc de Noirs using Pinot Noir in the classic way. Then a Reserve, with over four years of aging. This was followed by Crémant Demi-Sec using the Flora grape (a hybrid of Semillon and Gewurztraminer), and introductions of late-disgorged cuvées. Jamie and Jack even revived tunnel construction in America for wine aging. Their philosophy for winemaking is to draw on the best of the past, building on the foundation of experience to improve the quality of their wines.
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. 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.
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.
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.