Diamond Mountain is located at the northwestern side of Napa Valley, near Calistoga. Earth-friendly practices are used to prevent rain erosion on the terraced hillsides. Partial barrel fermentations, in-barrel malolactic fermentation and new French oak all contribute to this wine’s complexity. The bold, ripe flavors complement full-bodied entrées, especially grilled steak with small red potatoes drizzled with sage butter.
Appellation: Diamond Mountain
Our 2010 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon captures the deep flavor intensity and bold structure of mountain-grown grapes from the heart of our estate vineyard that overlooks Napa Valley. From the full, plush entry to the long, dark-fruit finish, the wine is beautifully balanced and supported by integrated tannins that promise cellar worthiness.
Our Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon comes from vines planted at 500 to 900 feet of elevation in the northern reaches of the Mayacamas Mountains. While the Diamond Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA) encompasses 5,000 acres, only 500 acres are planted because of the steep terrain. Our estate vineyard, planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon, totals 50.63 net vine acres. The site’s deep, well-draining Aiken loam soils—iron-rich and acidic—are formed from weathered basic volcanic rock. Cool breezes coming through the Sonoma Gap give the grapes their excellent sugar-to-acid balance and long hang time. We chose clones 4, 6, 8 and 169 and planted the younger vines with closer spacing for greater competition between the vines, resulting in small clusters with deep flavor intensity.
Heralded as a near-flawless vintage in Napa Valley, 2010 had the latest onset to harvest in several decades. We crushed the first grapes after Labor Day, about two weeks later than average. The late onset to harvest resulted from above-average rainfall and cool temperatures that persisted into May, followed by a mostly cool, foggy summer that slowed fruit maturity. But just as we started worrying that the grapes would never ripen, Mother Nature surprised us with heat spells to boost their flavors and sugar levels. The long hangtime and full maturity added up to exceptionally rich wines with exquisite balance.
We hand sorted the grapes first in the vineyard, as we picked them at dawn, and then again at the winery for optimum quality. We cold soaked the must for gentle extraction and fermented it in a combination of 120-gallon oak puncheons (to seamlessly integrate tannins) and stainless steel tanks. Following extended maceration and pressing, the wine completed malolactic fermentation in barrels to round the acidity and enrich the mouthfeel. Four rackings naturally clarified the wine, as complex nuances from barrel aging melded with the ripe, dark-fruit expression.