*Cellar Selection* Rich and powerful, with a molten intensity, this has loads of blackberry and cherry jam flavors, yet it has a minerally earthiness that grounds it and makes it endlessly complex. With its tannic profile and sweet oak jacket, this defines Napa Valley Cabernet—particularly from the mountains. If you can keep your hands off it, this will develop over the next 10–20 years.
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow sparkles on the palate with layers of dark red fruit, mocha, sweet herbs, crushed flowers and spices. Once again the Gravelly Meadow is surprisingly accessible for a young Diamond Creek wine. There is plenty of underlying tannin, however, and my impression is that this is a rare 2009 that hasn’t yet begun to close down in bottle. Hints of raspberry jam, cinnamon and cloves add to an impression of softness and sensuality that is unusual for a young Diamond Creek Cabernet. Anticipated maturity: 2024-2049.
Pleasantly earthy, with a complex, fresh loaminess underlying the dried currant and herb notes, gaining a cedary edge. The finish is tightly focused, showing touches of black olive and cigar box. Excellent length. Best from 2014 through 2030.
Yet another very solid effort from Diamond Creek and one that shows the same bias to structure and firm tannins as shown by its mates, this year's Gravelly Meadow bottling is a sinewy, yet well-fruited young Cabernet that has a long way to go. It tends to a bit of back-palate dryness, and its finishing fruit ever so slightly loses its grasp, but seven to ten years of patience should set everything right.
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)