|Napa Valley Cabernet Hall of Fame|
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James Laube on the secret of Napa's success.
Visit our tasting notes database to review these California Cabernets.
For more on Napa Valley, see the Feb. 29, 2000 issue of Wine Spectator.
Total Acres Planted: 500
Total Bordeaux Varieties: 370 acres
OLD GUARD: Diamond Creek's Gravelly Meadow, Lake, Red Rock Terrace and Volcanic Hill vineyards
OTHER REFERENCE CABERNETS: Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyard, Martin Ray Diamond Mountain Vineyard, Reverie, Sterling Diamond Mountain Ranch and von Strasser
REGIONAL CHARACTER: Diamond Creek Vineyards is the best measure of quality and style. This area shares the austerity, intensity and firm tannins of most mountain appellations. The core of earthy currant and mineral flavors often have a pronounced herbal quality. Wine styles vary, with Constant using near equal portions of Cabernet and Merlot, with less Franc.
The vineyard-designated Cabernets from Diamond Creek showcase the diversity found even within one property. Each of the vineyards within the proposed appellation sits at different exposure, elevation and grades, so it's not surprising that each of the properties' wines is so different. If you're looking for a thread, it's the tannic strength and steel-fisted austerity of the fruit flavors.