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.
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.