A dark and rich red with currant and chili pepper character. Full body, layered and fresh. Firm and long. Great.
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill has a saturated ruby/purple color that’s generally as dense and dark as the Red Rock Terrace. Deep crème de cassis, crushed rock, spring flower and blueberry notes are all present. This full-bodied wine is deep, backward, and probably just as young and youthful for a ten-year-old as the Red Rock Terrace. With plenty of tannin, beautiful fruit and great purity, this should turn into something special as well, but it needs another five or more years of bottle age. It’s hard to pick a favorite between this and the Red Rock Terrace, but if you’re looking for earlier drinkability, Gravelly Meadow wins hands-down. This is another 20- to 25-year wine, and that’s from 2015, not from 2005. (RP) 95+
The south-facing slope of Volcanic Hill is a mix of wide-spaced rows from the original planting in 1968 with denser vines from the replanting that began in 1998. The warmest of the three main Diamond Creek vineyards, the harvest started here in 2005 on October 14, then continued along with the other vineyards through November 1. This balances the flavor of perfectly ripened blackberries with savory touches of green, a fresh herbal scent of sage and thyme. It's a delicious, succulent wine structured for age, the green character an asset that will build complexity into the flavors as it matures.
The question that should be asked of the new Diamond Creek wines each year is not 'which one is best', but rather 'how are their respective terroirs manifest?' The fact, quite simply, is that they are always good, and, in 2005, the Volcanic Hill bottling is a carefully constructed Cabernet that shows none of the central thinness that is all too typical in wines of the vintage. Dense, deep, impeccably balanced and very complex even now, it does not rely on excessive ripeness or fancy oak and is instead a complete and wonderfully well-extracted wine that is at once structured and classy. Do not think about pulling its cork for at least seven or eight years, and, given the ageworthy nature of Diamond Creek wines as a whole, we expect this one to develop famously for a decade or probably two. *Two Stars*
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