Saturday, July 11, 2015

Diamond Creek Birth Year Tribute Tasting - 1984

Diamond Creek Birth Year Tribute Tasting - 1984

To celebrate the wedding of Drew and Alyssa, father of the groom, Bill obtained and served birth year 1984 vintage Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon in large format Magnums with the reception dinner. Bill obtained these special bottles from auction over the years and had been holding them in his cellar for the occasion. I dutifully offered to serve as sommelier for Bill so he and Beth could focus on parents-of-the- groom duties. I removed the foils and used an 'ahso' two pronge cork puller in the event the aged corks were dry or deteriorated. The fill levels were appropriate and the corks came out in great condition - firm and moist.

We visited Diamond Creek Vineyards during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2008 with Bill and Beth on Diamond Mountain above Calistoga. The spectacular tasting in the Estate tasting room overlooking the vineyards which are all co-located there on the property within view was one of the highlights of our trip.  
Shown above is our tasting at Diamond Creek and below, the view overlooking Diamond Creek Vineyards, Red Rock Terrace in the foreground, Volcanic Hill opposite, and Gravelly Meadow to the left.

Both wines were dark garnet colored and medium bodied. Recall back in the era, the early days of Robert Parker, when wines were more true to their terrior and production was more fundamentally basic, not highly extracted, in your face fruit forward fruit bombs that are deep but narrow.

Parker liked that style and through this review ratings reflecting his preference, introduced the era of such fruit forward obtuse wines,  full bodied, tongue coating, highly expressive, rich, chewy, berry fruit wines. Along with the high fruit richness comes higher alcohol content - 14+, even 15%. Compare that to these wines at 12 1/2 percent alcohol.

Prior to these influences of the Parker effect, as measured in high Parker Ratings, things were simpler, more 'shallow', less pronounced wines. These are a bellweather benchmark wines of that era. Expressive, complex, but not in its richness and deepness, but in its complexity of subtle nuances of fruits and defining and complementary tones. To that end, both wines were 12 1/2 percent alcohol, quite modest by today's standards. Their flavors and profile are more subtle, but no less interesting or enjoyable.

Diamond Creek Napa Valley Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
Bill's review from Cellartracker -

Opened beautifully, demonstrating the Left bank Bordeaux style expected from Diamond Creek. Perfumey nose like a Margaux. Medium garnet I the glass. Complex layers of leather, tobacco box, earthiness and dark fruit. An interesting contrast to the 84 Volcanic Hill served side by side at #2 son's wedding. Two Diamond Creek magnums from his birth year. The '84's continue to impress.

WCC 93 points.

Diamond Creek Napa Valley Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 1984

Bill's review from Cellartracker - Showing its age but still some interest left. Color was a medium ruby with some signs of bricking. Opened rather one dimensional. Still a bit of fruit left but no noticeable tannins. After 90 minutes or more, this began to open to reveal more of a Bordeaux style with notes of leather, tobacco and minerality. A reminder that with these older wines need to be tasted frequently through an evening as they evolve. Still a wonderful opportunity to celebrate #2 sons wedding with a premier wine from his birth year.

WCC 90 points.