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 entrees, especially grilled steak with small red potatoes drizzled with sage butter.
Our 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 loam, slate, graphite, as well as dried herbs like mountain sage, anise seed, and wild violet layer the intense macerated blackberry, dark plum, blueberry, black cherry and mocha aromas. Supported by sweet baking spice notes from the oak barrel integration, you’ll find allspice, vanilla bean, cardamom and charred toast notes coming from new French oak barrels. From the full, rich and silky entry on the palate to the persistent, dark-fruit lengthy finish, the wine is beautifully balanced and well structured. Muscular, yet fine-grained tannins support the wine and promise cellar worthiness. Consider decanting this wine if you choose to enjoy it in its youth.
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.
The beautiful, forested Diamond Mountain District, designated an American Viticultural Area in 2001, rises 2,200 feet above northern Napa Valley. We select the grapes for our Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from vines in blocks 3C and 6A of our estate vineyard, which is known as Peterson Vineyard. Block 3C is budded to Cabernet Sauvignon clone 169, while Block 6A is clone 4. The vineyard 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 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, while barrel aging melded complex oak nuances with the ripe, dark-fruit expression.
Trevor grew up in nearby Sonoma County, one of the wine hubs of Northern California. Wine was a staple at his family dinner table, and he enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. After an internship at Sonoma-Cutrer in 2003 and two consecutive harvest internships making sparkling wine at Gloria Ferrer, Trevor joined Moon Mountain Vineyard, a small, well-regarded organic vineyard in Sonoma, shortly after his graduation from UC Davis. In March of 2010, Trevor joined the winemaking team at Hewitt Vineyard and Provenance Vineyards and was appointed senior winemaker in 2015.
"From a winemaking standpoint, we have access to some of the best fruit in Napa Valley, not just from our estate in Rutherford, but also from Carneros in the south all the way up to Calistoga in the north. Our job is to make sure that each wine is balanced, complex, exciting and representative of its terroir."