E Wine of the Week – Bruce Cochran

Hello Everyone,
Just got in from a pretty long trip to Italy and Spain (19 days, six flights, seven hotels, four rental vehicles, nearly 20 restaurants!), so we’ll keep it brief this week.  I will compile some of the information from the trip a little later.

In the meantime, here are some upcoming events….

If you’re in Little Rock on Tuesday, there will be a Wine Dinner at Sonny Williams’ Steak Room where I’ll unveil my much-anticipated, great new California winery–Kenneth Volk Vineyards of Santa Barbara County (that’s Sideways country, BTW). Volk is the founder of Wild Horse Vineyards, which he sold for $40 million or so, then bought Byron Vineyards  from the Mondavi’s, retooled it and renamed it Kenneth Volk Vineyards.  Some of the best pinot noirs I’ve had and that includes the very expensive Garey Vineyard. You can try them all at Sonny Williams’, with my good friend, long time wine specialist James Cripps, who’s a certified wine specialist from the Society of Wine Educators. Call (501) 324-2999 for reservations.

That’s all for now—I’ve gotta get some sleep!


Diamond Mountain Cabernet

Napa Valley has many subdistricts: Carneros, Stags Leap, and others. Most of the best are on bordering mountains or their foothills. Mount Veeder is well known, as are Spring Mountain and Howell Mountain. One that is known for great cabernet sauvignon is Diamond Mountain.

Diamond Mountain borders the valley’s northwestern side, only a couple of miles from Calistoga. Rugged and steep, cabernet from vineyards here are known for being intense, full-bodied and long-lived. I’ve opened bottles of Diamond Creek cab’s that were well over 20 years old and they were still young. Yields from vineyards there tend to be very small. Temperatures can reach 100 degrees during the day, then drop 40 degrees at night. During the morning you can sometimes see a cooling fog slowly burn off as the day progresses.

Diamond Mountain became an officially-recognized AVA (viticultural area) only a few years ago. Because of the difficult terrain only a few people make Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, and most of it is expensive.

These wines are always expensive. On the high end that can exceed $100 per bottle, even $200, especially those from historic Diamond Creek, from the late Diamond Mountain cabernet pioneer Al Brounstein, or von Strasser.  A few, though, can be found for around $40-$50, such as the ones from Martin Ray or Sterling Vineyards.

Categories: Legacy Archive