Diamond Mountain, Napa Valley
The Diamond Mountain AVA is located on the west side of Napa Valley in the Mayacamas Mountain range, on the border with Sonoma County. The name of the district comes from the fact that the volcanic soils found here contain small piece of glass and quartz that "shine like diamonds." Vineyards are planted between 400 to 670 feet, meaning yields are limited and temperatures, while warm in the summer, are never too hot; there are approximately 500 acres of vines. Red varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, dominate the plantings. While these wines are mountain wines, meaning they have firm tannins and the structure for a decade or more of aging, the Diamond Mountain reds are not as intense or as tannic as examples from other Napa mountain districts. The best wines, in the $50-$75 range (with a very few a touch higher) offer ripe black currant fruit along with a distinct mineral note in the finish. (Wine/Appellations)