Grapelive: Wine of the Day September 6, 2016

2013DiamondCreekVolcanic2013 Diamond Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, Volcanic Hill Vineyard, Diamond Mountain, Napa Valley.
Long before there was Opus One, Dominus, Far Niente, Harlan, Colgin, Bryant Family or Screaming Eagle there was Diamond Creek, making great “Cult” Cabernet, in fact Diamond Creek made the very first labeled single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Founded in 1968 by Boots and the late Al Brounstein, Diamond Creek continues to produce one of California’s top wines, crafted by long time winemaker Phil Steinschreiber, these Cabernets are amazingly age worthy and pure, the three main wines are Gravelly Meadow, Red Rock Terrace and Volcanic Hill, plus they do an ultra micro production Lake Vineyard, which is extremely rare and one of the historic holy grails of California wine. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a few hours with the late Al Brounstein and his wife Boots and have heard some great stories from this remarkably couple and seen their passion, which even after losing Al a few years back, has not diminished in Boots who along with her son Phil Ross runs the winery with pride, humility and focus. I have tasted over the years many Diamond Creek vintages, even a few early 70’s, and most recently an ’81 which blew my mind, so it was a pleasure to taste through the up coming releases from the 2013 vintage. While all three of the main wines were outstanding, for me, the 2013 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill stood out, though I’m sure after 20 to 30 years they will all be remembered as classics much in the same way we look back at 1974 or 1985! The all Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill starts with lead pencil, acacia flower, black plum and flinty spices along with a deep garnet/purple hue, right away you know you are on to something really special, I have this same sensation when I taste a vintage left bank Bordeaux like Chateau Latour or Haut Brion, a Ridge Monte Bello, Shafer Hillside or Cathy Corison’s Kronos, and the palate of this Diamond Creek 2013 is filled with glorious richness and tannin, which is surprisingly supple, though you know it with hold this beauty together for 3 decades if not more! Beautiful detail and vitality make this Cabernet a classic with black currant, blackberry, sweet tobacco leaf, black licorice, hints of shale/stones, creme de cassis and opulent textures as well as polish and refined French oak, this is stunning stuff. Full bodied and dense with spectacular length this Diamond Creek Volcanic hill is a thrill ride of a wine that highlights the near perfect vintage Napa enjoyed in 2013. In a world where you have wineries selling wines that have no history or pedigree selling for over $300, Diamond Creek seems a bargain, I hope I get to re-visit this wine in many years when it is fully developed, I’m pretty sure it will then reach a near 100 Point score, the potential is clearly there, best from 2023 to 2050!
($175 Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive