Creating ageworthy Cabernet along the lines of first-growth Bordeaux was always Al Brounstein’s target. The late Napa vintner so admired Bordeaux that he carried (or smuggled) home vine cuttings from elite Bordeaux châteaus for use in his Diamond Creek Vineyard, where he made four mountain-grown, single-vineyard Cabernets.
I caught his 1996 Gravelly Meadow bottling at a wonderful time. It exhibited complex, mature aromas of smoke, anise, currant and cedar. Texturally, it was smooth, impeccably balanced and showing the delicacy that comes with time. On the finish, it echoed currant and wild berry flavors. The 1996 Cabernets were tight on release but are showing well now. This wine should age another decade with ease. 93 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind tasting review for Diamond Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Gravelly Meadow 1996 (91, $100 on release).