Diamond Ridge is one of the most fascinating vineyards in California. It’s essentially a mountain vineyard with a lake effect by virtue of its proximity to Clear Lake.
The altitude is important for Petite Sirah because it rots easily, and produces its best fruit when there’s a lot of UV, so the fog-free conditions and thin air at 2200 feet assure sound fruit. This was particularly benficial in 2010, a rainy year when a lot of PS in the downstream vineyards was prone to spoilage.
Another bonus is that the UV brings out AMAZING purple color. This is critical to texture. Like most PS, this one has tons of tannin. But the high color makes the tannin very fine, because the anthocyanins cannot daisy-chain the way tannins do, and thus act as bookends on polymerization, so the resulting chains are short and fine. I use heavy micro-oxygenation on this wine immediately after fermentation to stabilize the color and promote a plush, almost oily, quite feminine tannin structure.
The problem with high UV is that all that sunlight, while stimulating aromatic development, can also bake off aromas. Not here, though. We put on our sweaters every afternoon around 3PM and the aromatics are very well retained in the fruit. As a result, this wine is overflowing with blueberry and lavender aromas.
Finally, the volcanic decomposed granite soil imparts a palate energy I call minerality. Besides adding interest to the flavors, this trait seems to be associated with great longevity. The wine is indeed a little closed right now, but that’s because it’s on an incredibly long trajectory.
What you've got here is a big back-rub of a wine - something satisfying to sit and enjoy on a Friday evening after a hard week, a wine that will love you back. This is one of those rare examples of something that drinks very well now, but also will age well for decades. At $15 a bottle, I recommend you buy multiple packs. We only have 130 four packs left, and we plan to sell out today.