2012 Diamond Creek "Volcanic Hill" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1193454 98 points James Suckling

 Blackberries, blackcurrants and minerals. Full body and tight tannins. Powerful and long. Amazing depth and structure. Muscular. Classy tannin structure. This needs a few years to soften but amazing.  (4/2015)

96 points Connoisseurs Guide

 *Three Stars* Wonderfully precise in its varietal focus and showing exceptional continuity and length, Diamond Creek's Volcanic Hill bottling is, at even this tender age, a complex and layered wine of great depth and dimension. What it is not, however, is in any way flashy or extravagant and its incisive Cabernet fruit is enriched with lovely, wholly complementary oak. Its balanced composition makes it one of the stars of an outstanding vintage, and it is poised to age beautifully for years to come.  (8/2015)

96 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill is the most searing and intense of these 2012 Cabernets from Diamond Creek. Crushed rocks, lavender, mint, graphite, spices and blue/purplish fruit hit the palate in an intensely mineral, savory Cabernet built for cellaring. The flavors are bright and finely-sculpted throughout. While there is plenty of tannin underpinning the fruit, the tannin is polished and beautifully integrated. Beams of acidity and tannin propel the finish. One of Napa Valley's historic estates, Diamond Creek celebrates their 40th anniversary with the 2012 harvest. Readers will see bottles with special black labels in memory of founder Al Brounstein. As for the wines, well, they are as huge as always, but with perhaps a bit more accessibility than is the norm. Diamond Creek makes three main Cabernets, plus in some vintages a smaller selection from the Lake Vineyard, which in 2012 was mostly bottled in large formats. All of the Cabernet vineyards on the property are co-planted with bits of Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, but the wines are usually 85-90% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines are aged in 100% new oak, although some lots may see a second new barrel towards the end of aging. (AG)  (10/2015)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012s from Diamond Creek represent an homage to founder Al Brounstein and the winery’s 40th anniversary. The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill is a big-time winner, with notes of charcoal, red and black fruits, cedar wood and a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel are followed by a concentrated, structured age-worthy wine that should last at least 25-40 years, if you go by past history. These were some of the most age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignons made in the world. (RP)  (12/2015)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* 0 An waft of leather saddle opens this release from an historic Diamond Mountain site celebrating 40 years of wines with this vintage. Soft and refined, it’s a complex expression of cassis, black currant and mountain tannins, well integrated and age-worthy. The finish is lengthy in a touch of coffee. (VB)  (2/2016)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Tasted recently at the estate, the 2012 Volcanic Hill showed the best among Diamond Creek’s three main vineyard sites. This south-facing slope of white volcanic soil benefited from an even growing season without aggressive heat spikes; the wine doesn’t show the sunny warmth that it often does in hotter vintages, its power more reined in. On another day, from different bottles, Red Rock and Gravelly Meadow outperformed it at our panel tasting; Volcanic Hill was luscious and rich, while the tannins brought some cool greenness to the dark berry fruit. It’s mossy and cool, even as the warmth of the site pushes from behind the tannins, creating a dynamic that should play out in intriguing ways as the wine ages.  (12/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A complex, austere style, highlighting flavors of loamy earth, cedary oak, dusty berry and dried herb. Combines the strength of earthiness with a measure of structure and refinement, ending with a black licorice note. (JL)  (10/2015)

K&L Notes

Al and Boots Brounstein founded Diamond Creek Vineyards in 1968. The three vineyards Brounstein planted have produced some of the most long-lived, elegant wines from the state of California, wines that make the case "that Diamond Creek is the finest producer of Cabernet Sauvignon in America," according to wine writer Pierre DuMont. Volcanic Hill is comprised of 8 acres of south facing hillside vineyard on Diamond Mountain. It is the warmest of all of Diamond Creek's various mesoclimates. The color of the soil is gray, and the consistency is that of fluffy, volcanic ash, originally deposited from the eruption of Mt. Konocti 8 million years ago. Volcanic Hill is the longest lived of all Diamond Creek's Cabernets, in fact, it is likely one of the longest lived wines made in California!

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.