One of the most riveting vintages of Gravelly Meadow we’ve tasted on release, this grows on an ancient alluvial wash of river stones where the vines date to 1968 and consistently produce the lowest crop of Diamond Creek’s three main vineyards. In 2010, the yield on this vineyard was down more than 25 percent, due to culling fruit after the west-facing bunches were burned in the heat wave. Phil Steinschriber delayed harvest until October 22nd, when the threat of rain forced his hand. In the end, Gravelly Meadow produced his most aromatically beautiful wine. It smells like the manzanita groves on the hillside above Gravelly Meadow; that, plus racy red and black fruit, lean forest-berry flavors that layer with a cool soil character in the tannins as the scent draws you in to the taste. What’s equally beautiful is the texture, capturing the concentrated flavors and presenting them with silken grace. Under all that supple, lean muscle, the wine has a strong spine, structured to go the distance in the cellar.
The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow is just starting to open up. Sweet black cherry, smoke, licorice, incense, spices and orange peel are all laced together in an attractive, mid-weight wine built on layers of sweet perfumed fruit. Hints of rose petal and mint develop in the glass, adding an attractive upper register to the expressive red-toned, brambly fruit. Quite surprisingly, the 2010 is already enjoyable today, but it should drink well for another 15+ years, if not considerably longer. The Gravelly Meadow is the most approachable of Diamond Creek's 2010s. (AG)
The winery has hardly changed its winemaking formula over the decades. Gravelly Meadow remains toughly closed, dry and tannic in youth, despite its core of blackberry and cherry fruit. While the wine is flamboyantly forward by Diamond Creek standards, it would be a crime to drink it before 2020. It’s so balanced and complex, it will easily age until then, and probably far longer. *Cellar Selection*
Subtle, thoughtful aromas of blueberries, mint and black licorice. Full body with very fine, polished tannins and a fresh finish. Wonderful length to this. Try in 2017.
Sleek and perfumed, aromatic and graceful, this is relatively supple and polished, with a mix of loamy earth, juicy berry, mint and underbrush flavors. Should reward cellaring. Best from 2016 through 2030. (JL)
The dense purple-colored 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow offers stony notes intermixed with cassis and gravel along with a striking minerality, rich, deep cassis fruit, well-concealed and integrated new oak, and a long, structured finish. These cuvees are generally meant for considerable cellaring, and this wine needs to be forgotten for 5-6 years and drunk over the following 20-25 years. (RP) 92+
Always a favorite in these quarters over the years, the Gravelly Meadow bottling has more of tailored quality than does the Volcanic Hill, and here, in this vintage makes a lighter, less dramatic statement that will be the darling of those who like a more classic approach. To be sure, there is plenty of cassis and black cherry precision to the aromas, and the supple beginnings on the palate are somewhat more finesseful while still carrying the expected tannins for age. Latter palate acidity also tightens things up a touch and adds to the notion that cellartime is needed. *One Star*
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