Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon
Localization: Napa Valley, California, USA
Tasting Notes: This baby Cabernet plays tricks on the palate, showing appealing soft, delicious complexity, then retreating into a cloak of tannins, and then emerging again with sweet fruit and spice. It's bone dry, although the cherries and blackberries show a baked-into-the-pie caramelized sweetness. Give this bottle a good six years in the cellar and it should continue to evolve far longer.
Notes: Their second coolest micro-climate in their five-acre Gravelly Meadow vineyard. Originally a pre-historic river bed, this stony, gravelly soil drains rapidly and the vines struggle for moisture. Gravelly Meadow is their lowest-yielding vineyard. The wines are described as "earthy, cedary, jammy and ripe blackberry with a spicy expansive finish."
95 points Wine & Spirits: The five acres at Gravelly Meadow are part of an ancient riverbed, the coolest site of Diamond Creek's three main vineyards. It produced a handy 2007, almost off-putting in its power at first. The flavors progress from the richness of new oak toward a grape and soil expression similar to the fruitiness of black mushrooms. It's sleek, juicy, and dark in tone, the finesse of the wine already making it delicious, while the tightness of the underlying structure suggests years of development ahead.
The Domain: 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 their 20-acre property produce different single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. Light ash soil 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 number of long-lived wines that are revered by connoisseurs the world over.