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
Barrel Aging: 21 Months, 100% French Oak (70% New)
Varietal Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Production: 315 cases
“As for the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain, this is a relatively small cuvée of 315 cases of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 22 months in 70% new French oak, this dense ruby/purple wine emerges from the red aiken soils of Diamond Mountain. It offers up notes of melted licorice, blueberry liqueur, crème de cassis, charcoal and Christmas fruitcake. Full-bodied and layered, it’s a terrific example of this great vintage for Bordeaux varieties in Napa. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2036.” - Robert Parker, October 2016
“Tight, grippy tannin complements sharp acidity in this youthful wine from a rich vintage and mountainous appellation. Rich, red fruit yields to more savory currant aspects, dusted in clove spice and rooted in full-bodied weightiness.” - Virginie Boone, May 2017
“2013 was an incredible vintage,” says Winemaker Trevor Durling. “Our 2013 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is intensely expressive of bold, mountain-grown fruit that benefited from this long hang-time vintage.” Heady aromas of cassis, blackberry, black licorice and mountain sage lead to expansive and richly textured flavors. These complex notes come from Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the heart of our estate vineyard that looks out toward Mount St. Helena, while aging in new French oak barrels added hints of caramel, allspice and cardamom. From the full, plush entry to the persistent, 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.
The 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest fostered intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines.
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 60-gallon oak barrels (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. Gentle rackings naturally clarified the wine, as complex nuances from barrel aging melded with the ripe, dark-fruit expression.