• SumoMe

 

In the stern, rocky soils at Diamond Ridge Vineyards in Lake County, high yields are not an option. Therefore the mantra of Diamond Ridge can be summed up in one word ~ quality. They grow top quality grapes because they have to. Distinctive wines reflect perfectly the environment in which they are grown, because grapes are delicate vessels which drink in the vineyard site’s attributes and carry the stamp of that place. Our ace in the hole is that our site allows us to grow fruit of comparable and sometimes superior attributes compared to our downhill neighbor Napa County, at a fraction of the cost.

With that in mind, our tasting panel sat down with their current releases. He’s what they thought:

Winery: Diamond Ridge

Grape(s): Merlot (95%), Viognier (5%)

Special Designation: Two Jakes of Diamonds Rosé

Region: Lake County

Year: 2007

Price: 5-10

Review:

Notes of cherries, strawberries, pie crust and a hint of tropical fruit rise from a glass. On the palate, cherry and blackberry flavors meld with a hint of peach and a touch of minerals. With more body than usual Rosé and plenty of dark fruit flavors, one could think of it as red-wine-light. A great value for an everyday wine.

Rating: 87

Character: red fruit, supple mouthfeel, balanced acidity

Winery: Diamond Ridge

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Sirah

Special Designation: Two Jakes of Diamonds Red Wine

Region: Lake County

Year: 2007

Price: 10-15

Review:

Aromatics of blackberries and blueberries, along with suggestions of oak, dark-chocolate, and earth rise from a glass. A sip reveals flavors of blackberry and boysenberry accented by notes of chocolate, oak, and dusty earth. A rich wine, full of fruit with a bright mineral backbone, it’s ideal for fans of reds with dusty earth quality. Plus, at about $10, it’s a fine value.

Rating: 88

Character: dark fruit, supple mouthfeel, plush tannins

Winery: Diamond Ridge

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Sirah

Special Designation: Aspects

Region: Lake County

Year: 2007

Price: 25-30

Review:

Aromas of blackberries and plums meld with notes of dark-chocolate and sage. Flavors of blackberry, cherry, and plum unfold into suggestions of oak and spices. A fairly light wine, with plush tannins, and a fairly dry finish, it’s for fans of more elegant reds with a slight mineral character.

Rating: 89

Character: dark fruit, supple mouthfeel, fine tannins

Winery: Diamond Ridge

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc

Region: Lake County

Year: 2007

Price: 20-25

Review:

A bouquet of cherry, strawberry, pomegranate, and earth greets the senses. A sip unfurls flavors of strawberries, cherries, and pomegranates accented by herbs and bit of spice. A lively wine, with bright red fruit flavors and a dusty finish, enjoy it with portabella burgers, pork, or even lamb.

Rating: 89

Character: dark fruit, supple mouthfeel, fine tannins

Winery: Diamond Ridge

Grape(s): Petite Sirah

Region: Lake County

Year: 2008

Price: 15-20

Review:

Aromas of plums and currants meld with suggestions of smoked meat and white pepper on the nose. A sip reveals flavors of blackberry, plum, and currants complicated by notes of dark-chocolate and pepper. A wine with lush fruit, good structure, and a full-bodied, it’s ideal for fans of rich, somewhat robust reds.

Rating: 90

Character: dark fruit, solid tannins, full mouthfeel