Diamond Mountain District is located in the Mayacamas Mountain Range west of Napa Valley near Calistoga. At an elevation approaching 1,700 feet, the vineyards are planted on steep volcanic hillsides. As a result, they are known for their rich, deeply concentrated fruit. Inky and complex with a lingering finish.
“Licorice, dark berries, pine, sandalwood and dried citrus zest on the nose. Earth and bark, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, silky tannins and fresh acidity. Sleek and concentrated with a perfumed character.” - James Suckling, January 2021
One of the most expressive and brightest offerings from this growing region in several vintages, featuring fruit from four blocks across the two vineyards. Diamond Mountain Cabernet is intensely dark in color, with aromas and flavors following that same dark fruit theme, showing blackberry bramble, raspberry, plums and dusty mocha. Flavors are dense and saturated, with hints of baking spice and an herbal lift to the finish. Evident tannins, pleasing in mouth-feel, with good balance and structure and a lingering, lasting finish. No diamond in the rough this, it’s a sparkling diamond sure to please.
Early season rains brought yields back to normal levels this year, mitigating the extended drought that afflicted most of California over the previous few years. A cool spring resulted in normal timing for bud break, in late March. Temperatures remained fairly cool in May and June, but high temperatures in July and again in September triggered an early start to harvest. Quality was solid for the vintage overall, with little impact from Fall wildfires since most fruit was already harvested and in barrel.
This vintage is principally sourced from Diamond Mountain Ranch and the Peterson Vineyard, both in the Mayacamas Mountain range west of Napa Valley near the winery home in Calistoga. Steep volcanic hillsides notably produce deeply concentrated fruit in small bunches, with even smaller berries. Vineyard contours are relatively steep, as Diamond Mountain slopes from 800 to 1,700 feet above sea level. The vineyards are often above the fog line, receiving ample sunshine at cooler temperatures than the valley floor.
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in a combination of concrete and stainless vessels. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 15 days with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, 83% new.
Director of Winemaking Harry Hansen was raised in nearby Sonoma County. “One of my earliest memories of wine was the gallon jug of red wine that we always had at home. I would go with my father to a local winery, maybe in Kenwood or Healdsburg, to refill that jug and chit-chat with the winery proprietors. The aromas of those wines were always something attractive, somehow mysterious, but always memorable.”
Harry joined Sterling Vineyards and relocated to Napa Valley just before the 2011 Harvest. “The opportunity to join such a respected Napa Valley winery is exciting and a fantastic next step in my winemaking career. Sterling Vineyards is making some wonderful wines, and I look forward to taking that next step up in quality and reputation.”
|Oak Treatment||19 months in 100% French oak, 83% new|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|