The most powerful and imposing of the 2009s, Diamond Creek's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill wraps around the palate with blackberries, black currants, tobacco, incense, licorice and smoke. Layers of blue and black fruit, tar and grilled herbs flow through to the huge, full-bodied finish. The Volcanic Hill is the most powerful and tannic of the 2009s, not to mention a clear stand out. The 2009 is loaded with energy and tension, all of which will require many years to fully resolve. Readers will need to be exceptionally patient. Anticipated maturity: 2029-2049.
This shows the Diamond Creek signature of dryness, mountain tannins and voluptuously ripe, concentrated fruit. It’s dense in blackberry jam and cassis flavors, with firm minerality and a lush toast note from the oak. Near perfection in all of its parts, it possesses those hard-to-define qualities of balance and elegance. Wonderful as it is now, the tannins suggest aging it for many years. *Cellar Selection*
Phil Steinschriber, who farms the vines and makes the wines at Diamond Creek, believes this eight-acre block on gray, volcanic ash produces his most long-lived cabernet. On release, I often prefer the freshness of north-facing Red Rock Terrace to the warmer intensity provided by this south-facing hillside. In 2009, it’s spicy and warm, a plump cabernet in the dark spectrum of black currants and tar. Tangy and edging toward the super-ripe, this is a modern take on the vineyard, carrying a clear statement of its terroir that should develop with bottle age.
Very dense and backward, yet promising for its tight dried currant, herb, sage and cedar notes. An appealing earthiness gives the flavors a firm foundation. Needs time. Best from 2015 through 2030.
Far and away the toughest of the new Diamond Creek lot, this year's Volcanic Hill bottling is a deep and sinewy young wine with lots of mass and impressively extracted fruit. It is also gruff and astringent, yet its insistent impressions of cassis and black cherries power their ways past its very ample young tannins and linger on and on at the finish. It will not even begin to approach drinkability for another eight to ten years, and it is certain to live for a very long time.
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