Vintage 2016
Wine Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker David Galzignato

Our 2015 Armstrong Ranch Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon expresses the bold, mountain-grown fruit of its provenance—a vineyard on Diamond Mountain, which is part of the Mayacamas Range that flanks Napa Valley on the west side. Armstrong Ranch sits high atop Diamond Mountain, just west of Calistoga.

Tasting Notes

Our 2015 Armstrong Ranch Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon expresses the bold, mountain-grown fruit of its provenance—a vineyard on Diamond Mountain, which is part of the Mayacamas Range that flanks Napa Valley on the west side. Terroir nuances of forest floor, cocoa powder, as well as dried herbs like mountain sage, rosemary and cigar tobacco layer the dark blackberry, dark plum, blueberry, black raspberry, cola and bittersweet chocolate aromas. Supported by sweet baking spice notes from the oak barrel integration, you’ll find cedar, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla bean, clove and charred toast notes coming from new French oak barrels. From the layered and nuanced entry on the palate to the persistent, dark-fruit and espresso-like lengthy finish, the wine is complex and well-structured while being framed with minerality. Mouth filling well integrated tannins support the texture and structure. Consider decanting this wine if you choose to enjoy it in its youth. Only 270 cases were produced and they are available exclusively at our winery.

Vineyard Notes

The beautiful, forested Diamond Mountain District, designated an American Viticultural Area in 2001, rises 2,200 feet above northern Napa Valley. Armstrong Ranch sits high atop Diamond Mountain, just west of Calistoga. The vineyard blocks are planted on an extreme hillside with an elevation range of 850 to 1,200 feet. The thin, volcanic soils are laden with obsidian (volcanic glass) and very limiting; each vine produces only 2 tons per acre. Due to the varying elevations and row orientations, this vineyard is typically harvested three or four different times; sometimes a quarter of a row is left behind to ripen further. All of these factors make it a difficult place for a grape vine, and the resulting wines are incredibly rich in flavor with a complex tannin structure.

Vintage Notes

The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January, we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Cabernet with beautiful fruit as well as tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.

Winemaking Notes

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 in 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, while barrel aging melded complex oak nuances with the ripe, dark-fruit expression.

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