2023 - 2048
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow is a blend of 78.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.4% Merlot, 8% Malbec and 5.1% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it slips effortlessly from the glass, singing of ripe black cherries, black raspberries and cassis, plus hints of red currants, roses, cinnamon stick and garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers lovely freshness, offering bags of perfumed black fruits in the mouth, beautifully supported by fine-grained tannins, finishing long with lots of soft-spoken floral and mineral whispers. This perfumed beauty wears the 2018 vintage stamp well, presenting a more delicate expression of this vineyard—one that I love! 647 cases were made.
"You couldn't script it much better, in terms of weather and climate," said Diamond Creek's new winemaker Graham Wehmeier, speaking about the 2018 vintage. "The only issue for a lot of winemakers in Napa Valley was tank space." Graham was still at Futo winery during the 2018 harvest, as this was before the sale of Diamond Creek in March 2020 to Maison Louis Roederer. At Diamond Creek, 2018 was a normal year in terms of yields—only around two tons per acre. "We had such a string of early harvests," Graham mentioned. "Then 2018 was so late. They didn't finish picking at Diamond Creek until November 8th. But that's kind of typical for here. The low crop helps—we don't struggle to ripen. 2018 was really just a matter of waiting for perfection. I'm happy with the 2018s—there are a lot of classic Diamond Creek characters in the wines, although this year has a bit more approachability." These 2018s were just being bottled when Graham arrived on the scene in the summer of 2020. When I broached the subject of plans for future changes, Graham said, "We're not looking to change anything drastic." In my book, that is good news for this amazing little mountainside corner of Napa Valley. The offer for these very impressive new 2018 Diamond Creek releases just went out to their mailing list last week and should be hitting the markets very soon. Enjoy!