2008 was their final vintage. Archiving this review now.
Diamond Terrace has been producing high quality low production 100% Cabernet since 1999. Their vineyards are in the well-known Diamond Mountain and Howell Mountain areas of northern Napa Valley. The vineyards are entirely hillside grown. The winery is private and closed to the public. The owners Hal (an architect) and Maureen (background in wine sales) have always been interested in owning vineyards and producing wine and were able to acquire their hillside Diamond Mountain vineyards just before Diamond Mountain was made into a sub appellation. In addition the already planted steep hillside vineyards were planted before today’s county regulations permit plantings on such steep slopes. Good timing on those two things!
As of press time their total production varies between 250 to 300 cases making them one of the smaller Napa area wineries we have visited. However their Howell Mountain Cabernet has recently been brought into production. Their winemaker was originally Joe Briggs (former owner of August Briggs winery – designed by Hal) and now Thomas Brown of Outpost Winery makes the actual wine.
Their Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is very smooth with notes of berries in the mouth with a pleasing finish. We also tried their Howell Mountain Cabernet a year before being actually released (vintage 2005). It was a young wine but already was very pleasing on the palate with lots of berry fruit. It is nice to be able to come back later and try a fully finished wine after trying it early on as we did with this one. As a result, a year later we tried this 2005 vintage after being released. Oh this is a nice wine! The problem is only 90 cases are available; unable to get hold of this?…wait until the 2006 vintage as it has more than 3x the production and from what we hear, is supposed to be superb. It is very interesting to note the differences between their Howell Mountain and Diamond Mountain fruit.
The Howell Mountain wine tantalizes with subtle chocolate flavors in the mouth, a very aromatic nose and a beautiful long finish that just lingers in the back of your mouth well after you swallow. Both wines are high quality and represent very well the respective soils they are grown in. For a wine of this quality they are decently priced. Diamond Terrace has two interesting labels both with the same overall feel, but one has a holographic grey “soils” image representing the whitish gray ash soil from Diamond Mountain and the other “soils” image is a reddish copper color representing the deep red soil of the Howell Mountain Area. Diamond Terrace’s wines are found in several high-end wine shops within the Napa Valley.
NOTE: This review has been archived.
REASON: Stopped producing wine commercially
Leave a Reply