On Diamond Mountain, in the northwest corner of the Napa Valley, there are no giant estates. The landscape, craggy, volcanic, and incredibly hard to work: the rugged terrain requires hand harvesting, and the volcanic soils and water-stressed vines naturally produce low yields…it’s just too damn expensive to farm the land.
But the wine that can come from Diamond Mountain can be stunningly good, powerful, with a unique intensity, complex aromatics, and concentrated blackberry fruit. Collectors love them as they age gracefully and are extremely limited in supply.
Nichols 2021 Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon came from a tiny parcel of old-vine vineyards whose roots have dug deep into the rocky, volcanic soil. The parcel only gave up a meager 60 cases of finished wine, but my, those tiny berries were ultra-concentrated with flavor.
This is rich, powerful Cabernet, just jammed with black-cherry and blackberry fruit, tightly framed by firm tannins. This wine is structured to last but has a fruit quality to it that will make it hard not to drink this holiday season with any type of roasted meat.
The 2021 Napa Valley East side Cuvee is an instant classic. From the first whiff to the moment it hits the lips, its clear that this is a fabulously concentrated, serious wine: black in color, and featuring aromas of cassis, cedar and chocolate-tinged purple fruit. The mouthfeel is plush and voluptuous with a firm, solid finish that speaks to its potential for considerable aging.
99 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – 97-100 Pts, Lisa Perotti-Brown
“The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard explodes with violets, aniseed and cast iron, with a deep core of crushed blueberries and black cherries, evolving continually with each approach to the glass. The palate is stunning with its intensity and lift, pure fruits, pixelated tannins and focused acidity that drives the very long finish. Its exceptional balance and super pure flavors, plus that characteristic streak of iron that appears across the Anakota portfolio, really take the 2019 Helena Dakota to the next level.” -Erin Brooks, Parker’s Wine Advocate
The CJ Cabernet Sauvignon is one that is very close to the heart of superstar winemaker Philippe Melka. It comes from his home vineyard and is actually named after his kids. It explodes right out the glass with dark blackberry and black cherry notes, that play nicely with a hint of vanilla from the oak. It’s wonderfully built, a Cabernet that combines brute force and finesse to get a creamy, velvety expression. It’s got great balance and length to the finish and should be a force for the next 15-20 years, easily.