Saturday, March 2, 2013

Napa Valley Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignons

Duo of Napa Valley Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignons

For an impromptu dinner with Bill & Beth, we paired a duo of Napa Valley Diamond Mountain Cabernets to accompany artisan cheeses, Italian beef and chocolate mousse finish. Bill brought a Robert Storey Cellars Reserve 2007 and  I pulled from the cellar a Coniglio Diamond Mountain 2005. Both wines are sourced from Diamond Mountain along the western ridge of north Napa Valley with shallow, well-drained volcanic soils and a long cool growing season. We visited and featured Diamond Mountain during our Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2011 highlighted by private tasting tours at Constant Diamond Mountain Winery and Diamond Creek Vineyards.

What an interesting exposition in the 'timing of tasting' ... watching these wines evolve over several hours and then a couple of days. While these two wines exhibited different color and body with initially different taste profiles, they converged  throughout the evening to a distinctive similar Diamond Mountain terroir with its central core of common rich forward spicy currant and black berry fruit flavors. The next day they were more similar and the day after that they almost did a role reversal with the Storey retaining its vibrant fruits but becoming more polished and balanced, while the Coniglio fruit gave way to the cassis and mocha..

Coniglio Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  

This exhibits deep purple color, full body and full forward flavors of blueberries, black berry and red currants with dark mocha, cassis and hints of stone fruit, toasty oak and rich supple tannins on a long silky elegant finish. Comparing these two the next day and after two days, this fruit gave way to the licorice and mocha being more subdued in comparison to the Storey below. 

Initially, RM 91 points, 90 points after a day and then two..

Robert Storey Cellars Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2007

Sourced from fruit from a small block of fifteen year old vines from a ten acre vineyard about 800 feet up Diamond Mountain, this wine is crafted by winemaker Kyle Laird a well known and respected winemaker also known as "the Magician" in Napa Valley circles. 

This exhibited a dark garnet ruby color with medium-full body. Initially this came across a bit 'hot' with a forward astringency that softened throughout the evening. A day later this was more refined and polished yet retained its rich forward fruit and mocha accents.
The flavor profile exhibited the same full forward flavors of blueberries, black berry and red currants with a layer of dark mocha and cassis initally falling short of the rich supple tannins on a lingering finish. This wine continued to improve the following two days becoming more refined and polished.

Initially RM 87 points - give it 89 after several hours; the following day - 90 points.